This morning, the Rebels received a commitment from Gerrald McDowell, a 6’1" 255 pound four-star defensive end from Louisiana. McDowell chose the Rebels over reported offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Southern Cal, and others. He is a major pickup at a position of need. McDowell announced his intention to sign with Ole Miss this morning via twitter.
The Rebels had to add an impact defensive end after missing on their attempt to land DJ Pettway earlier this week. McDowell appears to be just that. He was wanted by programs around the Southeast and is a big body. There is a concern that he may be too much of a "tweener" prospect due to his height and weight combination, but that’s something to sort out later. Adding players who are both big and fast will always be helpful to football teams.
In this highlight film, McDowell is very disruptive. He looks to be an instinctive player who quickly pursues the ballcarrier. I’m a tiny bit concerned that he may lose out on some of the natural leverage you expect a 6’1" player to have since he stands up a little too quickly, but I can’t pretend like I know a ton about scouting players. Obviously a ton of coaches wanted him, and even if that is a flaw, it’s certainly a fixable one.
McDowell will likely temporarily keep Ole Miss in the top 15 in recruiting rankings, though I don’t anticipate they’ll finish there. The class is shaping up to be a good one though. While it isn’t great in comparison to some other SEC schools, it’s not as if the talent pool in Oxford is taking a hit. McDowell fills a big need and adds to an already impressive group.