March 7, 2007

Dowtin's potential intrigues Michigan

The last time Michigan signed a recruit from Fork Union Military Academy it worked out pretty well for the Wolverines. Marcus Dowtin, a running back/linebacker, might want to follow in U-M alumnus Chris Perry's footsteps, but with a bevy of offers he'll have many options. Have the Maize and Blue tendered an offer? Read more to find out …

According to football coach Micky Sullivan, Dowtin has received a written offer from Michigan. The Maize and Blue aren't alone. Dowtin has offers from Maryland, Nebraska, West Virginia and recently picked up three more from Clemson, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Each school, as is the case often, has different notions of where Dowtin will one day fit in best.

"It varies from school to school," Sullivan said. "Some guys like him at running back, some at linebacker and some even at strong safety. He's got a lot of options because he's a 6-2, 205-pounder with speed in the 4.4 range."

Michigan likes Dowtin at linebacker, believing he can add 20-30 pounds and play on the outside, or even move inside. Dowtin added 10 pounds since being measured and weighed at the State College Nike Camp in May 2006, but hasn't added a significant amount of weight because he competes in sprint events for the track team. He recorded a 6.69 55-meter dash time last spring and hopes to improve upon that this year.

"Defensively, he has a real nose for the ball," Sullivan said. "You won't find many ball-hawkers better than him. The moment that ball is snapped he's watching where it goes and then … he's off. He's going to locate it and get after it immediately."

Dowtin began the year at safety last year in Fork Union's 4-4 scheme, but quickly moved down to linebacker. He finished the season with 92 tackles, a sack and one interception he returned for 24 yards. Offensively, Dowtin rushed for 1,132 yards and 15 touchdowns on 137 carries (8.3 yards per carry). He also had six receptions for 34 yards and six kickoff returns for 80 yards.

"He's a power back, which is kind of ironic because we run a spread offense," Sullivan said. "He's big and strong, and has good speed, but to become a great running back he needs to develop a bit more patience. He wants to get the ball and go, which works when you can bull people over, but in college he'll have to be more patient for the hole to develop."

Receivers coach Erik Campbell has been recruiting Dowtin, and has expressed an interest in bringing the athlete to Ann Arbor for a visit. Sullivan said he'll know more about Dowtin's plans in a few weeks after his star pupil returns to school from Spring Break.

"We're off next week and his task is to sit down with his dad, talk about what he wants out of this experience and then try to set up a plan for visits over the summer, or a timetable," Sullivan said. "I don't think distance will be a factor. It will just come down to where he best fits."

For a nugget on Perry, and a trivia question about Fork Union visit The Fort.

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