FULLERTON, Calif. -- The East squad began practice Monday for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl,…
Semper Fi: 4-star Bower Updates Recruitment
The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl is giving four-star defensive end Tashawn Bower a needed respite from recruiting, and also providing time for him to evaluate his situation and set up a plan for the next month. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder from Immaculata High (Somerville, N.J.) remains committed to Auburn, and is trying to schedule an unofficial visit to campus, but also has several other schools on his radar. "I'm still committed," Bower said. "I might be taking another visit down, but I'm not sure when. I'm taking officials to Florida, LSU, Rutgers. Florida is Jan. 18, and LSU is Jan. 25-26. I don't have a date for Rutgers yet." If the current visit schedule holds, the lone weekend remaining for an official visit to Rutgers is the weekend of Feb. 1, which leads into national signing day Feb. 6. However, if Bower cannot settle thing by then, he is not ruling out waiting until after signing day. "It really depends on how I feel and if I get a really strong feeling with these schools," Bower said. "It depends how everything goes with Auburn and the other official visits." Bower was solid with Auburn until the coaching change, and now he is getting to know coach Gus Malzahn and trying to figure out what the staff will look like after signing day. "I had a really good conversation with (new defensive line) coach (Rodney) Gardner," Bower said. "We talked about Corey Lemonier, (who is leaving for the NFL draft). …I want to play early, so that is something that benefits me. It's not just about football, we talk about everything that is going on. It's just building a relationship." Meanwhile, Bower is also gauging interest of other suitors, and figuring out how he would fit into other programs. "With Rutgers, I've been there so many times," Bower said. "I know the coaches, and they're pushing hard. The only thing is if anything changed on an official and it was like, ‘Wow, ok, this is awesome.' " Florida is a program Bower has followed for a while, and he wants to see where he is in the Gators' pecking order of recruiting defensive ends. "I want to see the interest," he said. "I didn't get to see (defensive line) coach (Dan) Quinn or anyone else come up (in December). I definitely want to see they're very interested and I'm not a last offer guy." Another SEC school pushing hard is LSU, which came to New Jersey to scout Bower during the season. "I know they have a need for defensive ends and they've been pushing," he said. "They came up, so I know they're interested. The next thing is being comfortable there and seeing if I could fit in. "They've had a streak of great years, and they're a very good program. They're second best in the SEC academically, so I know you get a good education there also." However, before Bower sits down and sorts through the process again, he is focusing on the Semper Fi bowl. Coming off Monday's first practice, he was excited about what he can get out of the week in southern California. "It's extra competition," he said. "You get to go against the best of the best, not just your whole conference and the teams you normally play. "You know you're getting better every rep. These players were picked for a reason. You're going against good caliber players every snap." Bower is coming off a senior season in which he had more than 90 tackles and 16 sacks.
87 Fans online