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April 2, 2014

Five-Star McDowell finally a Spartan

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One of the longest and strangest dramas in the often-strange world of college football recruiting came to an end this week when Southfield, Mich., five-star Malik McDowell faxed in his letter of intent and officially became a Michigan State Spartan.

McDowell, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound defensive end ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the class of 2014, announced via Twitter Wednesday morning that he hadfaxed the letter of intent in at 11:12 p.m. Tuesday evening, just 48 minutes before the signing period closed and nearly two months after he announced a commitment to the Spartans.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, who prior to receiving the letter of intent was unable to comment publicly on McDowell, has scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. ET Wednesday afternoon in East Lansing regarding McDowell's signing.

Dantonio also put out a statement on Twitter Wednesday morning that read: "Congrats to Malik McDowell and his family on his NLI to MSU. Big decision for family and all involved."

The delay in signing was due to a disagreement between McDowell and his parents on where he should continue his college career. His mother, especially, had strong reservations about her son attending Michigan State and wanted him at one of his other finalists -- Florida State, Michigan or Ohio State.

After two months of family discussions McDowell's mother ultimately did sign the letter of intent. His father, Greg McDowell, expressed approval in the way his son handled the last few months.

"I am just glad it is over and I am pretty proud of my son," Greg McDowell said. "He was pretty firm and couldn't be swayed. That is where he really wanted to be. I know he is excited about it and I am happy for him as well."

With the letter of intent behind him, McDowell will be enrolling at Michigan State in June and taking summer classes prior to the start of his freshman season.

With the addition of McDowell, Michigan State's class ranks 22nd in the nation for 2014 and second in the Big Ten Conference behind only Ohio State.

Josh Helmholdt is the Midwest Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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