High School: Ranked as the 17th-best tight end in the nation, stands among the Top 100 players in the state of Georgia and holds a three-star rating according to ESPNRecruitingNation.com ... Also possessed a three-star designation by Scout.com ... Started on both sides of the ball (tight end and defensive end) at Grady High School for coach Ronnie Miller ... Helped lead the Knights to a 9-4 overall record and a 4-1 league mark despite missing part of the season because of an injury ... Caught a touchdown pass in second quarter action against Monroe Area during the second round of the state playoffs as a senior ... In all, still had seven receptions for 300 yards and three TDs on offense and 20 tackles, four sacks and a pair of interceptions on defense in 2012 as a team captain ... Tallied 57 receptions and scored 13 touchdowns during junior campaign ... Caught a TD pass, netted an interception and logged a pair of sacks in a 34-16 win over Towers in 2011 ... Named the Knights' Co-Offensive Player-of-the-Year ... As a sophomore in 2010, contributed to Grady's 5AAA Regional title and a third-round appearance in the Georgia High School Association playoffs with 39 receptions and three TDs ... Also posted 30 stops and registered seven sacks during second season ... A strong academic performer who possessed a 3.4 cumulative grade point average in his last high school semester ... Also considered Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, NC State and Wake Forest ... Lettered in basketball as a shooting forward ... High school teammate of fellow ECU signee DeShawn Benton.
Personal: Full name is Darren Anthony Dowdell ... Born March 11, 1995 at Atlanta, Ga. ... Brother Aaron plays football at the prep level.