Mark Dantonio Keeps Recruiting Attention Locked On 2015 By Going After Monster OT Rob Dowdy
Football is won in the trenches. The Michigan State coaching staff is targeting one such prospect to win that war for the 2015 class.
Head coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartan coaching staff has their sights set on one of the best offensive tackle recruits in the 2015 class, Rob Dowdy.
The Westerville, Ohio native has drawn interest from many schools. Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and Ohio State have all come calling for Dowdy. The current high school junior already has over 10 scholarship offers from colleges across the country, including Michigan State.
The highly talented recruit, and even better person, from Westerville South High School recently took some time to talk with Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. to speak about his family, his special skills and the recruiting process.
Itâ€™s not hard to see why high-profile college programs have flocked to Dowdy.
The left tackle stands at 6â€™6, 294 pounds, a menace to any defensive lineman or linebacker who gets in his way.
But not all of Dowdyâ€™s skills stem from natural ability. He is a persistent hard-worker who has forged his own path.
â€œAt a young age, I wasnâ€™t the best athlete,â€ Dowdy said. â€œSo I had to work harder than most even though everyone thought I had the God-given talent. I go to D1 [Sports Training] almost every day. Itâ€™s a training facility in Delaware, Ohio. I go there and work on footwork.â€
His work off the field has not only contributed to his quick feet, but a strong upper body that gives him the advantage in blocking defenders downfield.
Opposing defenses respect him so much that they often try to loop defenders around him in an effort to avoid the hefty offensive lineman. Dowdy doesnâ€™t mind, he simply punishes second-level defenders instead of defensive linemen.
â€œThatâ€™s my favorite place to go on the field: the second level,â€ Dowdy said. â€œI get a lot of momentum building. For whoever is out in front of me, Iâ€™m about to be their worst nightmare.â€
Dowdy is definitely a nightmare for all those who stand on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. His massive hands would make any defender cringe.
â€œWhen you have three older brothers and theyâ€™re trying to beat you up, you learn how to grab onto them and hold on,â€ Dowdy said of his big hands.
Dowdyâ€™s family has truly helped along the way. But even more important than his brothers, his mother has played a huge role in his life.
â€œItâ€™s mainly been my mother, a little bit of my grandmother,â€ Dowdy said. â€œMy mom has been the most influential person in my life since she raised me and my three brothers. Sheâ€™s a single mom but sheâ€™s really tried to raise us the best way she can.â€
Despite working a full-time job, Dowdyâ€™s mother always showed her love for her boys.
â€œCaring for us no matter what was going on with her, she made sure everything was okay,â€ Dowdy said.
Dowdy admits that his admirable discipline also comes from his mom.
â€œIâ€™m the youngest in the family, so I got the short end of the stick a little bit,â€ Dowdy said. â€œWith everybody moved out, she made sure she was 110% focused on me. Making sure I was disciplined at the end of the day was the most important thing.â€
Luckily for the Spartan Nation, this all-around recruit might be East Lansing-bound. Dowdy recently received an offer from the Spartan coaching staff, and had nothing but good things to say about Michigan State.
â€œThe facilities are great. Thereâ€™s not one bad thing at Michigan State,â€ Dowdy said. â€œThe best thing there is the coaching staff. Theyâ€™re all great men and really family-oriented, and that speaks a lot to me and my mom. Thatâ€™s one of the biggest things for me and her. Sheâ€™s raised me to be the person I am, and she wants to know the people she hands me off to will do a good job.â€
Dowdy also likes that the coaching staff is open about its faith.
â€œWhen we go to a university, sometimes theyâ€™ll hint at it, but theyâ€™re never really open about it,â€ Dowdy said. â€œIt was great to hear him talk about it, and talk about how, if I choose Michigan State, I should keep faith and keep it strong and I donâ€™t get away from it when I come to college.â€
The young man is still considering all of his options at this point, though, as he is unsure of when heâ€™ll make his decision.
â€œRight now, I have no clue,â€ Dowdy said. â€œI have some schools in mind, but right now Iâ€™m trying to keep an open mind.â€
No matter what school he chooses, Dowdy is a world-class athlete, and more importantly, a better person â€“ the type of person you root for no matter what uniform heâ€™s wearing. The Spartan Nation wishes him well.