Malik McDowell signs Spartans LOI

ByMitch Sherman ESPN logo
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The recruiting saga of Malik McDowell is over.

The No. 5-rated defensive tackle in the Class of 2014 delivered a signed letter of intent Wednesday to Michigan State, the school to which he committed on signing day amid a flurry of confusion.

McDowell's mother, Joya Crowe, disagreed with her son's choice, igniting nearly two months of speculation and indecision as Michigan, Florida State and Ohio State remained as candidates to land the 6-foot-6, 290-pound defender out of Southfield, Mich.

McDowell announced Wednesday morning on Twitter that he faxed his paperwork to MSU on Tuesday night.

My LOI was sighed and faxed in at 11:12 last night I'm official a Spartan Dawg!!! #GoGreen #GoWhite

- FAT LEEK (@D1_LEEK) April 2, 2014Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio followed by congratulating McDowell on Twitter.

Congrats to Malik McDowell and his family on his NLI to MSU. Big decision for family and all involved. #SpartansWill

- Mark Dantonio (@DantonioMark) April 2, 2014Dantonio said McDowell's decision to stick to his initial choice despite his family's disagreement with it "speaks volumes to me about his maturity or his move toward maturity."

"We constantly talk about commitment. He committed. He maintained his commitment. We maintained our commitment toward him and let the process take place. We continued to work on the communication but didn't press it and didn't force it and let the process work internally on their end."

Dantonio said he's happy McDowell "can go to the next step."

"The important thing is that everybody's on the same page now. Everybody felt, the family felt that this was the best place for him," he said.

The addition of McDowell, rated as the No. 60 prospect overall, boosts a class that ranked 29th nationally and fourth in the Big Ten on signing day. He joins athlete Montae Nicholson of Monroeville, Pa., as Spartans signees among the ESPN 300.

"He's an extremely versatile player," Dantonio said of McDowell. "He's 290 pounds and 6-6 and can run and is very athletic and can play end or tackle."'s Chris Low contributed to this report.

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