DE From New Jersey Loves Extended Visit to AU

Defensive end Tashawn Bower talks about his road trip to check out the Auburn Tigers.

Somerville, N.J.--Immaculata High standout Tashawn Bower has been a traveling man while checking out possible college destinations.

After spending three plus days with the Auburn Tigers, the 6-5, 241-pound defensive end prospect said that he is seriously considering Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers.

"I really loved it," he said of his trip to Auburn, which included tours of campus, time with the coaches and a chance to participate in an AU football camp.

"I saw everything," he said. "I got to see the campus, talked to a lot of people, the players and I really enjoyed it as a whole."

Rated a three-star prospect as the No. 33 ranked defensive end prospect for the 2013 signee class, Bower has a large number of scholarship offers after making 75 tackles as a junior playing in a 4-3 front.

Bower said taking the time to get out and spend time on the campuses of colleges he is seriously considering is important to him. "It is making everything easier the more I get to see places the more I know what I like and don't like. It makes the whole process a lot easier."

The defensive end said the key factors in his decision will involve the relationships he builds with the coaching staff and the academic environment.

"Just being comfortable with everyone and the campus life, the players and coaches you will be around the most, you have to be comfortable with them," he said. "Definitely academics and athletics are very important to me. I want to graduate with a degree and hopefully with a three-year graduation and, God willing, make it to the league (NFL). I definitely want to graduate and that is coming first."

Tashawn Bower has offers from several dozen colleges.

Mike Pelton, who coaches defensive linemen for the Tigers, is also the person who is recruiting Bower for Auburn. "I spent a lot of time with him," Bower said. "We were at the camp together. We talked a lot about technique and coming back down to Auburn, seeing a game, spending more time together and building a relationship."

Participating in the camp with Pelton's group, Bower said that was a good thing. "I got to see how he coaches and he got to see how I work and whether I am coachable or not. That went well. I really enjoyed that. It is huge because you get to tell whether he is a teacher or yeller. It is different for a lot of recruits. Some need someone to yell at them, some like myself need a coach to be a teacher so I think with Coach Pelton it is a match."

Bower said the relationship part of the equation is important to him. "The whole thing at Auburn is about family and I really saw that over the course of my visit. I loved it, everything about it. Everything was a plus. There is nothing bad I can say."

Another attraction of playing for Auburn is the chance to be in the SEC. "I think it is fair to say you are going to play against guys who are a lot faster and stronger in the SEC," he said. "For me I feel like it is the best of the best."

Bower hasn't set a time frame for his decision, but knows he wants to check out more campuses. He plans to visit Notre Dame, Michigan State and LSU this summer. He said that he plans to visit Miami and may go to Georgia. Earlier this year he visited South Carolina and Ohio State.

The prospect noted he is looking at about 10 schools, a list he hopes to cut to between three and five by the time he begins his senior season. He said Auburn's odds of making his final list are "very high" because he really likes the people he met on his trip. He said that he is also high on South Carolina, but needs more input before narrowing his list even further.

On Tuesday after the camp ended the prospect said he spent time with Auburn's head coach. "It was great talking to him," the prospect said of Chizik. "He is a really cool guy."

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