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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: McDowell to MSU still unresolved, Southfield All-American could be taking more visits

   | Scott Burnstein

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: McDowell to MSU still unresolved, Southfield All-American could be taking more visits

SOUTHFIELD – The long and winding road to East Lansing has hit another snag for Southfield All-American defensive lineman Malik McDowell.

Or has it?

Reports surfaced Monday afternoon, citing McDowell’s father, Greg, that McDowell, who is committed, but not signed with Michigan State University, would be for all intents and purpose re-opening up his recruitment and taking additional visits to defending National Champion Florida State University, Ohio State University and the University of Michigan.

McDowell’s high school head coach, Southfield’s Tim Conley, told reporters Monday night in response to the news that he doesn’t think that is the case and only what McDowell’s parents are hoping for. Conley believes McDowell is still very firm in his commitment to Michigan State, regardless of not having inked on the dotted line yet.

There’s been great drama and intra-family acrimony surrounding the eventual college-playing destination for the 6-foot-7, 300-pound menace in the trenches, dating back to before last Wednesday’s Signing Day soap opera.

It's a story that has been and is attracting nationwide chatter (see ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, 24/7Sports.com. Rivals.com, etc..).

McDowell and his parents have been feuding over his decision to sign with Michigan State, according to multiple sources, for a while. In late January, he officially cut his list of choices down to just Michigan State, Michigan, Florida State and Ohio State.

His father and his mom, Joya Crowe, both did multiple interviews in the days leading up to their son’s commitment to Michigan State Wednesday morning, expressing their desire that he not become a Spartan for various reasons, including the school’s campus being “too social” and the football team’s coaching staff being unequipped to get him to the NFL. They both made it clear they wished he would go out of state for college and choose the Seminoles or the Buckeyes.

On Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. in front of a jam-packed gymnasium, filled with students, friends, family and droves of media, McDowell, flanked by 13 of his fellow college-bound Bluejays’gridiron teammates, announced he was going to attend Michigan State, in spite of his mom and dad not agreeing with his decision.

Greg McDowell was present at the ceremony and told reporters that he supported his son regardless of their differences in opinion. Crowe was not in attendance at the event and the younger McDowell never signed and sent in his National Letter of Intent - and he still hasn't.

Because Crowe is his custodial guardian, she must sign the letter too and according to numerous reports, she is refusing to.

He has until the end of March, the conclusion of the current NCAA signing period, to ink the letter and send it to Michigan State to become an official member of the Spartans' 2014 recruiting class.

Contrary to what Conley told those in the media that made contact with him Monday, Greg McDowell is contending that Malik's future visits are part of a compromise with his mom, where he'll take the visits again (he's visited all three school before) and if he still wants to sign with Michigan State, she'll give her blessing and signature.