"I was shocked," McDowell said of the firing. "I was hurt for him not me. I mean he went 9-3 and lost his job. How could they do that? We still talk. In fact, I called him on Sunday night and we talked while I was watching the (Atlanta) Falcons game. He told me not to worry about him and that life moves on. I told him just to have faith in God.
"Right now, I am open to hear what other schools have to say. I am still committed to Nebraska. I will just wait and see how this thing plays out. I know I will visit LSU, South Florida and Troy State. I am also looking at Tennessee, Auburn, and Mississippi State."
McDowell, 5-11 and 194 pounds, is an athletic quarterback with a super arm and he can run extremely well. He has had a splendid senior season, leading Tucker to this weekend's state semi-final game against Statesboro. Midway through the season, Tucker lost their star running back, Thomas Brown (Georgia commitment) to a broken leg. From there, everyone stepped up, including junior backup running back Brandon Young.
"Thomas was a guy that could make a big play out of nothing. But Brandon is a guy that has really played well. So has the offensive line. Everyone has stepped up in Brown's absence."
McDowell has also stepped up this season as well. He has become a leader and is much more comfortable in the offense. Now, he's a student of the game.
"It's my time to shine. Last season as a junior, I was still learning our offense because we brought in a new offensive coordinator. It was a work in progress with learning the offense and reading defenses. I was getting by on talent and athletic ability. I was reading the defenses but not quite understanding everything. This year is different. Now, I can pick up on schemes and everything. Last year, I hated watching tape. Now I love watching film now because I understand what I am looking at. Football is like a game of chess and as a quarterback, you have to understand what the defense is trying to do. So now I am ready for Statesboro this weekend."
Although there is at least one game left for McDowell and his football teammates he's licking his chops for the baseball season to get here. McDowell had a breakout junior season. He fastball was clocked at 95 mph and he had over 100 strikeouts last year with a 1.09 ERA. He also hit .427 with nine home runs. "I have never been this excited about the baseball season. I feel like I am so much stronger now. I recently bench presses 320 pounds. That baseball will feel so much lighter and I think I can throw even harder. I just need some time to heal after football season is over."
When talking with McDowell, you get the feeling his first love is baseball, not football. His future is so bright in both sports and McDowell should be drafted in June's Major League Baseball Draft. Maybe sooner than later the decision to pick one sport will have to happen.
"Baseball is my first love. But I just want to see what happens with everything… recruiting, the baseball season and the draft. I get letters from baseball scouts everyday and they say they will get in touch with me when the football season ends. One day, I will have a big and tough decision to make. But I am surrounded by people that love me and care about me and my future and they will all help me through it."