Malik McDowell

Dad doesn’t want five-star son playing his college ball in Michigan


Yesterday, Kevin brought you a story of how the mothers of high-profile recruits can impact where their sons play their college football.

Today, less than 24 hours from the start of National Signing Day, it’s a father, in concert with his better half, who’s attempting to influence where his son signs.

Malik McDowell is a five-star defensive end from Southfield, Mich., rated as the No. 2 strongside end in the country by and the No. 1 player in the state of Michigan at any position.  The player would like to stay in-state and play for Michigan State.  The father?  Not so much.

I  want him out of Michigan. … We’re basically at the same point, his mother and I, as long as he gets away from Michigan we don’t care where he goes,” Greg McDowell told “From when we talked Friday he’s coming around because he knows how adamant we are about him not attending Michigan State.

“I don’t have anything bad to say against Michigan State but I don’t think they’re the school for my son. I think the coaches are cool and they’re establishing a good program, but this is my son and I choose to not want him there. If he were to choose Michigan State I don’t know what I would do. It is what it is. I just want my son away from this environment and Michigan. I want him out of here.”

The elder McDowell would prefer his son sign with either Ohio State or Florida State.  McDowell took an official visit to Columbus this past weekend, two weeks after doing the same in Tallahassee.

Because of geography, though, the Buckeyes could have a leg up on the Seminoles — if Malik McDowell doesn’t follow his heart and head to East Lansing against his parents’ wishes, that is.

“(He is thinking about) what it’s all going to turn out to be as far as family also,” the father told the Detroit News. “I feel like he is thinking about my mom, his grandmother — a lot. His mom’s parents are both deceased, so he only has my mom and my father, and my father is disabled. He wants to keep it close to home as far as my mom being able to come see him. Not just on TV. That’s something where he is very thoughtful in that way about her.”

McDowell, who’s also considering the University of Michigan, is expected to announce his decision at 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday morning, with his father stating that “hopefully he’ll make the right choice for himself and the family as well.”

No pressure, kid.  No pressure at all.

(Tip O’ the Cap: Land-Grant Holy Land)

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Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.