The Wolverine

September 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 77 of 99

PREP PROFILES Cass Tech will be awash in Division I talent, led by a top-flight cornerback — does this sound familiar? Just about every year, the high school In the 2014 recruiting class, Detroit that produces more Big Ten football players than any other in Michigan puts out an excellent defensive back. More often than not — each year since 2008, except in 2010 when Dior Mathis chose Oregon — that player ends up picking Michigan. In the case of Damon Webb, the Wol- Wolverines Hope To Continue Cass Tech Pipeline Damon Webb Cass Tech High School Detroit Position: Cornerback Ht.: 5-11 • Wt.: 170 verines are hoping that will tradition pay off once more in 2014. They have already offered the 5-11, 170-pound cornerback as have Ohio State, LSU, Damon Webb "That's going to be one of the factors that plays into my re- cruitment as far as LSU —I've got family down there. At least with my family there, I'll be comfortable because I won't be going down there by myself." Michigan State and others. That's pretty impressive for a transfer who consid- ered himself strictly a wide receiver at his previous school, University of De- troit-Jesuit. "When he came in," Technicians de- been known for producing top talent, the Catholic schools have seen a down- turn in recent years, especially as many of them have shuttered their doors. However, Detroit Loyola — home of While Detroit's city schools have long just 149 students, all of them boys — has two Division I football prospects in the 2014 recruiting class, including one who could contend for five-star status down the road. While 6-5, 272-pound offensive line- just a couple games (and, as a wideout, catching passes from current Michigan freshman Brian Cleary, a walk-on to the football team). He's relishing the op- portunity to get back on the field as a junior. vision 7-8, but he spent a lot of time at the offensive tackle position," said Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt. "His offseasons are spent on a basketball court, not in a weight room, and that shows as well. "Although proportioned well and ad- man Ka'John Armstrong is likely to end up playing at the next level, the real headliner at Loyola is 6-6, 292-pound de- fensive end Malik McDowell. Although he played primarily on offense as a soph- omore, McDowell's strong camp perfor- mances this offseason have earned him national attention — and local offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State, along with na- tional programs such as Oregon, Stan- ford and Syracuse (plus interest from Alabama and LSU, among others). "As a sophomore, McDowell did earn first-team all-state honors in Di- 78 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2012 equately thick, he does not have the muscle definition of year-round football player. That means he is nowhere near his ceiling, and considering how good he is already, that fact is remarkable. McDowell backed up his winter perfor- " mances by taking his talents to Atlanta in June. At the Rivals Five-Star Challenge, he served notice that his skills can stand up even against some of the best play- ers in the country — nearly all of whom were a year older than him at the event. "This is great; I've gotten to work, Dowell said at the time. "I've worked a lot harder than I usually have to at one of those camps [in Michigan]. I did pretty well, though. I know that I'm not that far behind them even though they're older than me. I'm the youngest person at this camp. " Mc- " fensive coordinator Jermain Crowell ex- plained, "I said, 'You're probably a MAC receiver at best. We've got a pretty good defensive backs coach, so you might be able to go big-time as a corner. how the transition was made." ' That's Since he transferred during the aca- demic year, Webb got to play very little football as a sophomore, appearing in "I played at UD-Jesuit, and I transferred to Cass in October," Webb explained. "I felt like I had a better academic oppor- tunity at Cass Tech and more exposure on the football field at Cass. I'm ready to get back out there in the fall. ing the Technicians' top defensive back in nearly every recruiting class, that doesn't mean Webb is a lock to head 30 minutes down the road to Ann Arbor for his college ball. In fact, a family con- nection to Baton Rouge, La., gives LSU equal standing. "That's going to be one of the factors Despite Michigan's history of land- " that plays into my recruitment as far as LSU —I've got family down there, said. "At least with my family there, I'll be comfortable because I won't be go- ing down there by myself. their part to convince Webb to don Maize and Blue. Class of 2013 Techni- cians David Dawson and Jourdan Lewis, both Michigan commitments, are put- ting in a good word for the Wolverines. "They're definitely in my ear a bit," Of course, local forces are still doing " Webb said with a smile. "I'm listening to Dave. He's giving me good advice. He's helping me out with my recruitment. — Tim Sullivan " Homegrown Lineman Has Top Potential Malik McDowell Loyola High School Detroit Position: Defensive End Ht.: 6-6 • Wt.: 292 gives him the ability to excel as a de- fensive end. It's no question he'll be suc- cessful at the next level, and the bigger mystery is where he'll play his college ball. Though he grew up a Michigan fan, McDowell's quickness off the ball McDowell hasn't tipped his hand. "Michigan is on me the hardest," he said. "Michigan, Ohio State and Michi- gan State. They're on me pretty hard, but I'm not in any hurry with the recruit- ing process at all. ical and athletic potential, the Wolver- ines' coaching staff is surely hoping that they can reel in McDowell before he can be swayed by other suitors. — Tim Sullivan With McDowell's combination of phys- " " he

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - September 2012