4-star Louisiana DL Garrald McDowell commits to Ole Miss

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Many national experts expected McDowell to stay close to home and play for LSU. He'll be playing for the Rebels instead.

Ole Miss added a big piece to its 2014 recruiting class on Friday when they received the commitment of four-star defensive lineman Garrald McDowell.

McDowell, a Louisiana native, chose Ole Miss over LSU and a handful of other SEC schools. Most felt the Tigers were the leaders to secure McDowell's commitment, though Hugh Freeze and the coaching staff must've really sold him on Oxford in recent weeks:

"It was a lot of pressure (to stay in state), but I talked to my parents, prayed to God and went where my heart said to go and that was Ole Miss," he said.

McDowell joins what is currently the nation's 15th-best recruiting class, according to 247 Sports' composite team rankings. At 6'1 and 255 pounds, he already possesses the size and strength to potentially make an early impact as a freshman next season. It's a bit unclear what position he will play in college – he played both defensive tackle and defensive end in high school – and it will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Dave Wommack incorporates McDowell into Ole Miss' 4-2-5 defense:

"He can play either," [Covington coach Greg] Salter said. "I think they may look to add some pounds to him and put him inside and let him continue to use his quickness there. But either way, he will be able to help them where ever they need him. That’s the type of kid he is. He is selfless and will be happy to play wherever they need him."

Here are some highlights of McDowell in action:

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