Michigan State Spartans defensive tackle Malik McDowell was ejected from Saturday night’s game against the Indiana Hoosiers for targeting with under five minutes to go in the game. The play came on an Indiana touchdown that gave the Hoosiers a 21-14 lead. Once again, the play was a highly questionable definition of “targeting,” which is beginning to become an epidemic across college football.
An All-America selection last season by Fox Sports, the junior defensive tackle has launched himself near the top of nearly every all-too-soon NFL mock draft board. Not even half way done with just his third year on campus at East Lansing, McDowell is being highly-regarded as a future first-round selection whenever he decides to come out.
A five-star recruit out of Southfield HS in Detroit, McDowell was the top player in the state of Michigan in the 2014 recruiting class. Recruited and offered by nearly every top program in the country, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection could have played wherever he liked, taking official visits to Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, and Florida State, before eventually committing to Sparty the day of his official visit in February 2014.
A 6’6′, 276-pound defensive force, McDowell had 13 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks last season for Michigan State. While he only had 1.5 tackles for loss and zero sacks entering Saturday, he has drawn the brunt of double-teams and seeing the opposition gameplan for a disruptive force up the middle. He is backed up by redshirt freshman Raequan Williams who will fill in for him following his ejection.