Michigan State’s Malik McDowell declares for 2017 NFL Draft

After a forgettable season from the Spartans in East Lansing, Michigan State junior defensive lineman Malik McDowell has decided to take his talents to the NFL.

McDowell, who’s 6-foot-6, 276 pounds and can play just about anywhere on the defensive line, announced his decision on Twitter.

“This was a very difficult decision and I will always cherish my time in East Lansing,” he wrote. “I want to thank my family, coaches, teachers, administrators and teammates. I’m ready to fulfill my childhood dream of playing in the NFL. I promised my parents that I would come back to Michigan State University to finish my college education and get my degree.”

The last line in McDowell’s announcement¬†will be a telling one for NFL scouts. Not only is he an extremely talented player, but in just one line he displayed a bit of who he is as a person. He respects his parents as well as the value of a college degree — football isn’t forever.

So when it comes to scouting McDowell as a person (which is extremely important to organizations — they are investing a ton of money in their players, after all) look for the MSU superstar to check out with flying colors.

Speaking of, when scouts look on tape and notice McDowell’s production, he’s sure to get their attention.

In three seasons with MSU, McDowell notched 88 total tackles (50 solo), 24.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception taken back for a touchdown.

For all intents and purposes, McDowell is expected to be a first-round draft pick, potentially taken very high in the 2017 NFL Draft.