It is commonplace these days to see a player make a nice catch or hard-hitting tackle and follow it up by jawing at his opponent. And when’s the last time someone scored a touchdown and didn’t offer some sort of celebration dance? “Look at me” seems to be the way of the football world. It’s just not the way of Garrald McDowell. By not conforming to this now-accepted style of play, he has become a Rebel. An Ole Miss Rebel, that is. The 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive lineman, who is the No. 15 prospect in the NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Nifty 50, will officially sign Wednesday morning his intention to attend college in Oxford, Miss. He selected Ole Miss from a final four that included SEC foes LSU, Tennessee and Arkansas. McDowell is sort of an old school type of player and, by all accounts, is the consummate teammate. In earning All-State honors at Covington this past season, he did his talking by smashing through the opponent’s offensive line and slamming whomever had the ball directly to the turf. He would then quietly get up and go back to his side of the line. “My grandfather would’ve loved to have coached him,” said Covington Coach Greg Salter, referring to legendary coach Jack Salter, who led the Lions from 1963-95, including a state championship in 1976. “As much individual recognition as Garrald gets, you can tell he is very conscientious of his teammates and what credit they’re getting – or not getting. “Whenever someone had a big game and someone would want to interview (McDowell), he’d get offended. He takes pride in whatever accolades his teammates would garner, especially (fellow defensive lineman) Broderick (Bankston). He knows how hard the two of them worked together.” In his senior season at Covington, McDowell proved invaluable as not only a defensive lineman, but as a running back in short-yardage situations. Along with his team-leading 128 tackles, nine sacks and four forced fumbles, he rushed 24 times for 94 yards and eight touchdowns and had one reception for a 10-yard score. He also helped lead the Lions to the Class 5A semifinals, where they suffered a heartbreaking 28-27 loss to Parkway on Dec. 6, 2013. In the game, McDowell had 14 tackles, including three for loss, and a fumble recovery. He also scored on a 1-yard run late in the first half that gave Covington its last lead of the season. It was the first time the school had gone that far in the playoffs since 1987. McDowell continually brags about how close a bond he and his teammates shared. On the night his high school career ended, there were plenty of tears shed among a group of seniors who quickly realized they’d never play together again. Two months later, the abrupt ending still stings. Two decades from now, it almost surely will still be remembered.
Ole Miss commitment Garrald McDowell let's his play on the field speak for itself
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Feb 4