McDowell, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound safety from Locust Grove (Ga.), has collected 16 scholarship offers. His offer list includes Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
"North Carolina is high," McDowell said. "But everybody is high right now. North Carolina has a good academic program, so they're pretty high with me. But I still have a couple visits to go before I start narrowing everything down."
McDowell's upcoming schedule includes Vanderbilt on March 23 and Ohio State on April 6. Besides UNC, he has visited Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
With his mother in tow, McDowell arrived in Chapel Hill on Saturday morning for the Tar Heels' Junior Day.
"We watched videos," McDowell said. "We talked about the ACT/SAT – what we have to do for the [NCAA] Clearinghouse. My mom and I met Coach [Larry] Fedora. She also met my recruiting coach, Coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic]. We hung out with a couple of the players that were there and we watched the NFL Combine."
McDowell's meeting with Fedora was a one-on-one encounter in his office.
"He told me that North Carolina football is changing and they're going to start winning championships and they'd like for me to be a part of it," McDowell said.
Additionally, McDowell, who accumulated 60 tackles, two interceptions, one sack, and ten pass deflections, had a brief conversation with Vic Koenning, who will be coaching UNC's safeties this season.
"He said I'd be a playmaker for them on the defense," McDowell said. "He said he could move me around so that I could make plays for him. He said I'd fit at either safety, but probably the safety that plays close to the box because I'm not scared to hit you."
For most of his stay, though, McDowell was around Kapilovic.
"He spent most of the time talking to my mom," McDowell said."He and I talk pretty much every week. So he was just talking to my mom about North Carolina."
After watching the opening minutes of the UNC-NC State basketball game from the Blue Zone, McDowell and his mother had to head home.