WESLEY CHAPEL – Wiregrass Ranch has two rising junior cornerbacks that will help them turn things around this season. Opposite Jordan Miner is Shamaur McDowell, a 5’11”, 175-pounder who is as determined as they come.

Aiming to bulk up to 190 lbs., McDowell is fresh off his first year as a cornerback, reeling in four interceptions to lead Class 7A-District 8 play last season.

“I think I did well,” McDowell said about his sophomore campaign. “Getting those four interceptions my first time playing corner feels good. I think I need to work on a couple techniques and I should be good for my junior season.”

McDowell appeared in two games as a freshman lining up at linebacker, but coaches noticed rather quickly that his body type fit the cornerback position much better. The move has paid huge dividends for his game.

With Jordan Miner playing opposite him, the Bulls have two of the most promising Class of 2018 prospects.

“It feels good knowing someone on the other side of the field is locking it down. I can trust him [Miner] and work with him.”

On top of his four interceptions, McDowell had 26 tackles, 11 pass breakups and two defensive touchdowns (one fumble return, one interception return). He also took back five punts for 98 yards (19.6 average).

“Once I got my first interception I was like ‘okay now I’m getting the momentum, I’m starting to like this.’ I wanted to focus more on this position after that.”

He started the season on fire recording his first career interception against Zephyrhills in the opener before recording another pick against Wesley Chapel a week later.

Playing for second-year head coach Mark Kantor is something that McDowell calls a lot of fun. Kantor is entering his 14th season as a high school head coach after serving as the man in charge at Hudson (2012-14) and Gaither over the previous nine seasons. His first year at Wiregrass Ranch didn’t go as planned as the team went 2-8 with injuries piling up.

“It’s been a good opportunity. Me and him have a close relationship. We like to play around with each other and have fun. Smiling every day and making practice fun and exciting to play for him.”

On top of his duties as a starting corner, McDowell will see time at safety and wide receiver. Last year he caught five passes for 25 yards.

He currently has three offers from Iowa State, Toledo and Bowling Green. He also has interest from South Carolina.

McDowell is planning a visit on June 24 to Iowa State.

“It feels good for them to be my first offer. I know it is a big school,” he said about Iowa State. I don’t know much about the school, I know it is in the middle of nowhere. That is good because I want to stay focused. After the visit, I’ll see if I want to play up there.”

McDowell says his biggest strengths are hitting and tackling while he’s looking to improve his overall technique.

He started out his football career at age 4 as a center. He moved to offense shortly thereafter playing both running back and wide receiver. He calls himself an athlete who can play a lot of positions.

His biggest role model in his life is his father.

“Since I was little he’s being pushing me to do better and go harder and not to give up.”

McDowell’s ultimate goal is to play college football and then try to get to the NFL.

“I want to finish this mission for my mom and get her a new house and new car. I don’t want her working anymore.”

McDowell’s mother is a manager at Panera Bread, so she literally brings home the bread. He laughed pretty hard when I made the joke during our interview.

Shamaur McDowell is a good-hearted kid who is highly gifted on the field. He’s a playmaker who is only going to get better with more seasoning. Wait and see what he does this season, it should be fun to watch.

***

Quick Hitters

Favorite player to watch – CB Vernon Hargreaves III, QB Jameis Winston, RB Doug Martin, QB Cam Newton, RB LaGarette Blount, CB Darrelle Revis, RB Adrian Peterson
Playlist before games – Eric Thomas’ motivational speech “How Bad Do You Want It”
Favorite movies – Rush Hour, Dark Sky, Paranormal Activity
Favorite TV show – Martin, Spongebob Squarepants, The Walking Dead
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I like to put salt on my pancakes.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Maur”

Game film: McDowell’s Hudl tape

Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at jake.perper@hotmail.com.

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