4-star DE Bower Solid to Auburn?

Immaculata High (Somerville, N.J.) four-star defensive end Tashawn Bower committed to Auburn in June but other schools recently came to watch him play. He spoke to FOXSportsNEXT about where things stand.

SOMERVILLE, N.J. -- Tashawn Bower knows all about the talk in recruiting circles.

Auburn coach Gene Chizik's seat is blazing hot, LSU and Rutgers both stopped by to see him play recently, he made a few unofficial visits to nearby Rutgers, and so on.

He hears it, and he says not to read anything into it. The four-star defensive end from Immaculata High said he is happily committed to Auburn, and he doesn't see that changing.

"I fell in love with the school," said the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Bower, who made an official visit in October. "Not only the coaches and the players, but I fell in love with Auburn University. When I went there, it wasn't just football, football. It's the academics …I could see myself there. I stayed there long enough to actually get a feel for it and get a good grip on everything.

"I really enjoyed myself and I can't wait to get down there."

Bower added his official visit gave him the opportunity to spend time with his future teammates, and to get a feel for being on campus. He was in town for the Oct. 6 game against Arkansas, and loved every bit of it.

"It definitely gives you a great perspective on how you're going to be living for the next four or five years," Bower said. "I think it is something every recruit should do. It helps you tremendously. You see the academic side, the athletic side, and they're not going to lie to you. They'll tell you everything straight up, and they're definitely someone you can talk to, no matter what."

In regards to other schools recruiting him, Bower said his personality isn't to ignore coaches, but he is upfront about his intentions.

"Right now I'm telling everyone the same thing," he said. "I'm committed to Auburn, but if you still wanted to come out and see me, that's fine, too. I'm not going to be rude and ignore your calls. I'm going to talk to you, but I'm committed to Auburn."

Bower's current focus is on the Non-Public Group II NJSIAA playoffs.

The top-seeded Spartans opened the postseason with a 47-6 win against Gloucester (N.J.) Catholic, and play Montclair (N.J.) Kimberley Academy in the semifinals Nov. 30, and a source of motivation is to send coach Pierce Frauenheim out as a winner. The long-time coach is retiring after the season.

"He's a legend, and I think everyone is blessed to have him as part of our lives," Bower said. "We all sell out for each other and especially for coach Frauenheim, especially this year since it's his last. We want to give him a ring since he is leaving."

Bower's play will be telling if the Spartans can deliver the title.

He is markedly improved from his junior season, and against Gloucester Catholic showed an ability to get off blocks, including fight through double teams, and locate the ball carrier. Bower also showed very good speed off the edge.

"It's definitely something I wanted to improve on from last year," Bower said. "I know my sophomore year to junior year, my big improvement was speed off the ball. This year I wanted to get off the block faster, and I think that has helped me tremendously, especially with getting sacks.

"That's been a key different from junior year …from missing a sack by a half-second to this year actually getting the sack. It's definitely something important that every defensive lineman should be doing."

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