February 28, 2013

McDowell on first trip to Chapel Hill

Tar Heels Illustrated got the chance to catch up with Locust Grove (Ga.) safety Cortez McDowell Wednesday night.

He talked about a host of topics including his recent trip to Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he got a chance to bring his mother along for his first visit to UNC's campus.

"It went good. It was my first time going to Chapel Hill so it was a good trip," said McDowell.

The trip went so well that McDowell anticipates a return visit to UNC soon.

"Me and my Mom plan on going back up there sometime soon," said McDowell "I'm going to try and be up there (Chapel Hill) for spring practice if not the spring game. I've definitely got my mind made up to try and get up there for spring practice."
McDowell plans on keeping a busy traveling schedule during the spring.

"I have three visits in March. March 30 I'm going to Auburn. March 23 I'm going to Vanderbilt and March 16 I'm still open-minded for a couple schools. I just need to get back around to the coaches and talk to them a little bit more," said McDowell.

While taking UNC's sights and sounds, McDowell was able to talk about many subjects with those that will help make his college choice.

"I sat down with my position coach. I met with the head coach and we toured a couple of the facilities. We went to the new facility," said McDowell. "We had a meeting about the SAT's and SAT prep and all the things needed to get into college for like scores and schools, all the core classes and all that. Pretty much the basics that we need to know."

McDowell will be making his decision about where to attend school with a heavy focus on academics which was evident in the ratio he spent talking to his coaches about the matter.

"It was more like 60/40 academic. Then we talked like a little football after."
Of course after McDowell had his questions answered about UNC's academic prestige the coaches shared with him a vision for how they believe he might fit into their system.

"Right now I know that from being up there and talking that they see me being down closer to the line but still being like a DB but closer to the line. They call it the RAM so I'd be like an extra linebacker but I'm still considered a DB," said McDowell. "As far as the defense I'd still be able to play man coverage with the slot receivers when they go empty. But if not then I'll be able to help the run game because I'll be down in the box covering up a spot that linebacker would normally be playing."

McDowell is a highly sought after player and his list of suitors proves that.

"Florida State offered me. North Carolina has offered me. Ohio State has offered me. Georgia Tech and Georgia have both offered. Tennessee has offered. Vanderbilt has offered. Syracuse, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Auburn, West Virginia and Kentucky," said McDowell.

McDowell is focused on making a sound long-term decision when it comes time to pick his school.

"Right now it's probably just the school, the education part and wherever I can be for the next four to five years."

Going into his last year of high school football, McDowell has a few things he's looking to improve on before setting foot on a college campus.

"Working on angle tackling a little bit more and getting from point A to point B a little quicker. That's what I'm going to work on a little bit more. Maintaining my ball awareness and my ability to come down and strike everybody at the point of attack," said McDowell.

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