McDowell, who is rated a four-star prospect and No. 7 defensive end in the latest Scout.com player rankings, gave a prepared speech in the school library on his Army invite.
"First I want to thank god for blessing me with all the skills and opportunities," McDowell said. "Thank my mom and dad for embracing my energy. I know it is a challenge sometime, but you are always on team Malik. Thank you to my extended family and friends. You showed up cheered me on and kept me inspired. I want to say thank you to all my coaches for encouraging me to reach my potential. Football requires brains and brawns. I wan to say thank you to John Vickers my trainer and the HYPE staff. And last but not least, I want to say thank to all my football teams: West side Cubs, (Detroit) Loyola high school and Southfield high."
While McDowell's senior season was just cut short after losing in the first round of the state playoffs, he said his first season at Southfield was an overall success.
"I had a good season," he said. "As a team we had a good season. Overall, I don't what happen (with the playoff loss.) But as a team we did our thang. I'm happy with that."
McDowell looked a lot slimmer than his usual 300-pound plus physique in Friday's ceremony.
"I had a lost a lot of weight," McDowell said, who is now at 6-foot-7, 275=pounds. "I had got sick actually. I was trying to lose it anyway. I lost 35-pounds and just started to eat healthier and everything. I'm just trying to prepare for my college season."
With his senior season complete, McDowell is now focused on taking his planned officials visits.
McDowell said he doesn't plan on using an official visit to Michigan because of the local access he already to the school. And says he is consistent talks with the coaching staff.
"There is still a lot of talking with Michigan," McDowell said, who noted he was on campus for the U-M-Nebraska game last Saturday. "I just want to see them play. I have seen everything. There is nothing much new they can show me. Just seeing the coaches and the coaching environment and everything."
And what's the repeated message from Michigan coaching staff to McDowell on his visits to Ann Arbor: "They need players who can rush the quarterback," McDowell said.
What exactly is McDowell looking for on his official visits?
"Just seeing how it is out of my city and state pretty much. Just seeing how different it is," he said.
McDowell plans a to make his announcement at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 4, 2014.