Detroit Loyola head coach John Callahan has been selfless in his handling of the recruiting process for highly-touted 2014 defensive end Malik McDowell, but at least one of McDowell’s trips later this month will be two-fold.
Callahan was visited by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and Irish offensive coordinator Chuck Martin last week and Callahan will be bringing McDowell down to South Bend to watch the Irish practice in advance of their BCS National Championship game.
“That’s something that I’m going to work into his schedule,” said Callahan. “Even though Malik is being heavily recruited, he’s still got another year with me and it’s important to me that he sees the tempo that these guys practice at.
“He will definitely be going to one of the practices so he can see how the next level is and what’s expected.”
The 6-foot-6, 295-pound McDowell already has offers from schools like Notre Dame, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford among others.
Callahan first met Kelly when he brought McDowell and 2014 offensive lineman Ka’John Armstrong down to the Irish’s camp this summer. The Loyola head coach was again impressed with Kelly’s personality last week.
“I think it’s pretty obvious why his teams play the way they do, almost mistake-free,” said Callahan. “Just his demeanor, how he carries himself, how he is, you can just tell that not a lot of things are missed.”
Callahan has always been high on Martin, who handles Michigan recruiting for the Irish.
“He’s a good man, he’s a good coach,” said Callahan. “He’s very sincere. Obviously they’re doing a heckuva job with what they have this season. They’re playing perfect football.”
Kelly and Martin couldn’t have much direct contact with McDowell, but the head coach’s presence said plenty.
“I think it’s important to them that Malik knows that they’re truly interested in him,” Callahan said.
“As busy as they are with their schedules, especially with the head coach, to take the time to come all of the way out here so the kid knows they were there, that’s the message that they want to send. ‘We care and when the time comes, we want to sit down and we’ll be there.’”
The message hit home with McDowell.
“I talked to him after just to let him know that they were there and he just had a big smile on his face,” Callahan said of McDowell. “I know he’s been following them. I’m sure he’s really looking forward to sitting down and talking with them and having that time to spend with them.”
Callahan also thinks the Irish are interested in Armstrong, a 6-foot-5, 272-pounder waiting for his first offer.
“We talked a little bit about Ka’John,” the coach said. “His coming-out I think will be this summer, going to a few camps and people seeing how much bigger he is and being a little bit quicker. I’m not really worried about Ka’John because his grades are good. Michigan and Michigan State are both very high on him also and Ohio State sends him something almost every day.”