Malik McDowell (@D1_LEEK) is “officially” a Spartan, according to his Twitter account.
I have confirmation from a source close to the MSU football program – but we are still waiting for official confirmation from MSU. While we wait, some details…
Despite reports to the contrary, the deadline for high school seniors to send in their letter of intent was Tuesday night at 11:59pm.
If the deadline had passed, McDowell and either parent — not just the custodial parent — could sign a Big Ten tender and officially commit to MSU.
Tuesday was the LOI deadline – but it was also April Fool’s Day. That could be why McDowell waited to tweet about it until Wednesday morning.
If McDowell actually sent in an LOI last night, it would have had to have been signed by his mother, Malik’s sole custodial parent. If this is what happened, it would appear to be good news for Malik’s family. Maybe they are all on the same page.
UPDATE: According to the Detroit News, McDowell and his mother, Joya Crowe, signed the letter-of-intent, and it was faxed to Michigan State late Tuesday night – according to Southfield coach Tim Conley.
His father could have signed a Big Ten tender on his behalf today if the letter of intent was not signed yesterday. For all intents and purposes, it should mean essentially the same thing for Spartan fans… the five-star is in the fold.
As Joe Rexrode recently reported:
What’s the difference between a national letter of intent and a Big Ten tender?
Most athletes sign both. The national letter of intent essentially stops other schools from recruiting a student athlete. That’s because transfer penalties are in place as soon as it is signed. All football players who signed LOIs would have to sit out a year if they decide to transfer to another school.
There is no such penalty for someone who just signs a Big Ten tender, unless they want to transfer within the Big Ten. So if McDowell enrolls at MSU with a signed Big Ten tender but not a signed letter of intent, he can decide to go to a school outside the Big Ten and do so without penalty – for the first year of school.
After spring semester of an athlete’s freshman year, the national letter of intent no longer applies and NCAA transfer rules kick in. So McDowell would have more freedom to go elsewhere as a freshman, then be under the same rules as everyone else afterward.
By the way, while it is unusual to go the Big Ten tender route, MSU has an athlete on board who did just this… last year. Alvin Ellis III joined Michigan State’s men’s basketball program last April with a Big Ten tender.