Bower Gives High Praise to the Terps

2013 prospect Tashawn Bower talks recruiting with TSR.

At 6’5” and 230 pounds there’s not a lot to dislike when watching Tashawn Bower on the football field. The Immaculata (New Jersey) defensive end (he also plays on the interior of the defensive line and at tight end on offense) has the kind of easily identifiable tangibles that have made Division I coaches drool since watching his break out sophomore campaign in the fall of 2010.

Still, in a sign of the high school junior’s budding maturity and football know how, he’s finding things he’d like to personally improve upon heading into his senior year. “My hands,” he says matter-of-factly when asked about potential weaknesses in his impressive repertoire. “I need to have quicker hands coming off of the ball, getting my arms extended. I need to have more violent hands.” Indeed that’s the perfect, if not somewhat unusual, way to describe a relatively small, but vital part of a defensive lineman’s skill set; the ability to lock out an offensive lineman and control the line of scrimmage. It’s those hands, and the rest of Bower’s imposing athletic frame, that schools like the University of Maryland will look to draw to their campuses as he nears the 2013 signing day.

Bower has already received numerous verbal offers from around the country, and he even has another program to add to the growing list as 2012 approaches. “Alabama has expressed interest,” he said of the SEC powerhouse headed to the BCS national championship, “but they want me at outside linebacker.” This has been a theme amongst the SEC schools with Bower, as Georgia has also talked with the junior about the possibility of moving him off of the line. It’s a sign of his incredible athleticism (he was officially clocked at 4.71 seconds in the 40 at Ohio State, but knows he’s run at least a 4.69 before) that amazing defensive teams like Alabama are finding ways to fit him into their programs. It’s also a sign that his 230-pound frame may be too small for programs that typically boast defensive lineman near or above 300 pounds.

While he’s flattered by the attention from college football’s pre-eminent conference, he feels more comfortable at the position that Maryland, amongst others, have recruited him to from early in the process. “I feel best at defensive end,” he says when talking positions on the field, although he’s quick to add that “I’ve played all over the place.”

When asked to embellish on his experience with, and impression of, Maryland so far, he said what many other recruits have; the Terps have mainly gone through his coach to get the scoop on him, so he hasn’t had any direct contact with the Randy Edsall’s staff. Still, he gave Maryland a six or seven out of ten in terms of interest in College Park, high praise from a player with as many options as he has. Maryland’s base 4-3 defense also helps, since this is the same defense Tashawn has comfortably played in for two seasons as a varsity starter in high school. Per usual, the Under Armour uniforms certainly didn’t hurt his assessment either. When asked about the Terp’s big new selling point he had the same reaction that another high profile recruit, Utah’s Cooper Bateman had. “I loved them,” he said with the kind of enthusiasm that many young players and fans have approached the Maryland uniforms with. “I personally thought they were awesome.”

He’ll likely get an opportunity to see those famous (or infamous) uniforms as he embarks on campus visits starting this January. After impressing at combines and camps last year, his sole focus between now and his senior football season will be visiting schools, and working on his game. In addition to his quick hands, putting on more size will be important as well. After a 9-2 season in which Immaculata made the semifinals of New Jersey’s non-parochial Group 3 state tournament, Bower has a lot of team success, in addition to his personal achievements, to add on to before heading to the next level.

Football won’t be his only focus though. Bower says academics are obviously a huge part of his college choice, as is the relationship he has with his coaching staff. In a final sign of Bower’s maturity off of the football field, the high school junior already knows what he’d like to focus on in college academically: finance. This makes sense when you consider that he’s grown up and played high school ball near one of the pre-eminent financial hubs of the world in New York City’s Wall Street. Still, with comparison’s being drawn between him and Justin Tuck, a player from one of New York’s other main attractions, it may be a while before Bower is making any deals in a board room.

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