Photo: 247 Sports
Michigan State secured the National Letter of Intent from the number one recruit in the state of Michigan and one of the best defensive players still available on National Signing Day. Defensive end Malik McDowell, despite earlier reports suggesting his family wanted otherwise, chose to stay close to home by submitting his letter of intent to defending Big Ten champion Michigan State.
In the days leading up to National Signing Day it had become public that his parents wanted McDowell to attend a school outside the state of Michigan. Ohio State seemed to emerge as one of the favorites following this development and an official visit last weekend, but ultimately McDowell decided to stick with Michigan State. He should fit right in with the Spartans.
Michigan State's foundation for success the past few years has been built on the defense, and last year it all came together with one of the top defense sin the country. McDowell, a five-star recruit according to the 247 Sports composite rankings, will bring massive size to the Spartans defensive line. At 6'-7" and 290 pounds, few offensive linemen will manage to control McDowell once he adjusts to the college game, and that adjustment may not take too long. Quarterbacks will have a significant obstacle to get a pass by on one side of the Michigan State line as well.
This is the second time in three years Michigan State has signed the top recruit in the state of Michigan. The Spartans have made a push in signing the top in-state recruit. Since 2008 there has only been one year the Spartans did not sign an in-state player ranked higher than a player brought in by Michigan. Wide receiver Aaron Burbridge was the top in-state recruit in the Class of 2012. William Gholston was also a top in-state recruit of the Spartans in 2010. Edwin Baker, in 2009, was another top in-state recruit.
In 2011 wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett was the top recruit in the state of Michigan and he went to Tennessee, but the Spartans locked in the state's number two prospect with defensive end Lawrence Thomas.