As Michigan State gets ready for the 2016 season, the 2017 campaign may already have received a boost — maybe.
Star defensive lineman Malik McDowell, a junior, will return to Michigan State for his senior year if he’s not one of the top three picks for the NFL draft, Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press reports.
McDowell will likely be a first round pick. The debate is how high he could go, especially if he follows up his sophomore season with even more impressive numbers. During the 2015 season, McDowell had 41 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
Of course, McDowell could change his mind and go pro early even if future mock drafts don’t see him in the top three.
“Top 10 ain’t good enough for me,” McDowell told Snyder during Monday’s media day. “I ain’t leaving if I’m (only) Top 10. If I’m not top three, I don’t leave. Really. I’m just trying to live day by day. It’s one through three, that’s the only way I’m going. I’m happy, I like it here, I ain’t really in a rush to leave.”
Here is one of McDowell’s big plays from a season ago, his touchdown against Penn State: