NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Ever since Andrew Dowell was born 22 minutes before his twin brother, David, they have been competing against each other. They’ve also done everything together.
Their competitive fire has blossomed at St. Edward. The North Ridgeville residents have excelled on the football field, where they led the Eagles to the Division I state semifinals, and the basketball court, where they helped the Eagles win the state championship.
Andrew, the starting tailback, and David, a starting wide receiver and cornerback, immediately hit the recruiting trail following basketball season, visiting several Division I universities such as West Virginia, Syracuse and Ohio State. In the end, the twins found their future home at Northwestern.
On Sunday, Andrew and David orally committed to Northwestern, becoming the fifth and sixth members of the Wildcats’ recruiting class for 2015. The duo will enter their senior year at St. Ed’s knowing they’ll not only be playing Division I college football, but will be doing it as teammates.
They revealed their choices via Twitter.
“Proud to say that I have committed to Northwestern University! #ChiTownBound #B1GCats,” David tweeted.
“Glad to say that I am Officially committed to Northwestern University!! #Big10 #Wildcats,” Andrew tweeted.
In true twin fashion, they made their commitments to Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald on speaker phone at the same time.
“That was the plan,” David said. “We’ve been playing together our entire lives, so we wanted to continue that.
“It’s pretty cool to experience what most people don’t get. We use each other as motivation. We push each other and lift each other up if one of us is having a bad game. It’s a mutual thing and it’s pretty great.”
Andrew, a 6-foot-2, 202-pound running back rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, rushed for 968 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Eagles last season.
David, a 6-1, 185-pound receiver and cornerback, is also rated a four-star prospect by Rivals. He caught 26 passes for 483 yards and seven touchdowns, and made 32 tackles with three interceptions on defense. He’ll play cornerback at Northwestern.
According to Rivals.com, Andrew had 13 scholarship offers and David 12. There was a chance they could end up at different schools, but Northwestern provided them with the shot they wanted.
“If an opportunity didn’t work out, we wouldn’t have been opposed to going to different schools,” Andrew said. “We both had the opportunity to play at Northwestern, and that’s part of what made it stand out from the other offers.”
The brothers made their official visit to Northwestern on April 5 and 6, meeting with Fitzgerald and touring Ryan Field, the athletic facility and the campus.
David is happy to not just represent St. Ed’s in the Big Ten, but also Lorain County. Former Eagles teammate and Lorain native Geoff Mogus is a junior starting offensive lineman for the Wildcats. Former Eagles teammate Greg Kuhar is a sophomore defensive lineman.
“I think it shows the hard-nosed backgrounds that people come from in Lorain County,” David said. “You have to have a physical background to play football in Lorain County, and I think that’s a pretty good thing. It’s helped us do well at St. Ed’s and now be able to play Division I football.”
Last season, Northwestern opened the season 4-0 before a 40-30 loss to Ohio State at home sent it on a tailspin. The Wildcats dropped seven straight before ending the season with a 37-34 win over Illinois, salvaging a 5-7 record.