Pass rusher picks up SEC offer

The summer months are extremely important for recruits to meet with college coaches, to send out film and to be evaluated. One player from New Jersey has taken full advantage of that opportunity and the scholarship offers are rolling in. Sign in or subscribe now to InsideTennessee.com to see what he said about the Volunteers.

If a rising high school junior is accumulating scholarship offers 18 months before National Signing Day in 2013, then chances are he's a legit prospect.

One such player is defensive end Tashawn Bower out of Immaculata High School in Somerville, N.J.

Tennessee linebackers coach Peter Sirmon gave the defensive end prospect big news Tuesday evening by extending Bower an offer. The 6-foot-5, 228-pounder couldn't be more pleased.

"I'm really happy about that first SEC offer," Bower told InsideTennessee.com. "About a week or two ago I received mail from them. I had sent them highlight film, but that's kind of the first feedback I got from them. So, I called to see how everything was going and what their amount of interest was and they really liked it a lot and I'm glad they offered."

Bower said he has not seen the campus in Knoxville but definitely plans on doing so. He has camped at Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech.

He is a hot name on the recruiting board among rush ends in the Class of 2013. Along with the Volunteers, Bower has offers from Connecticut, Florida State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Coach Greg Schiano's Scarlet Knights play their games about 12 miles from Bower's school.

"They'll always be pretty high," Bower said of Rutgers, "not only because of their coach but it's also a great program in the Big East. They've never really had a down year. They've always been top-notch, so that's always a good thing. It's a pretty good school as well. I can see myself being a student-athlete there. I'm also just trying to keep my options open with everything right now."

While he may know quite a bit about the Rutgers program, Tennessee's is one Bower has some catching up to do.

"There's not much that I know (about Tennessee). I need to look into it a lot. I really want to find out more about it, but I honestly don't know a lot about the school," said Bower, who wants to head south to visit some places right after his season since Immaculata doesn't have a bye week on the schedule.

With his length and athletic ability that could possibly allow him to drop off into pass coverage, Bower is a candidate to be a 3-4 defense's outside linebacker. However, he said he'd prefer to be an end in a 4-3 alignment like the one Vol defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox utilizes.

The rush end wants to get his weight up to 240 pounds by the time he graduates.

The Immaculata Spartans are led by coach Pierce G. Frauenheim, who has four state championships and 33 straight winning seasons to his credit. They were tested recently as they took on Don Bosco Preparatory High School out of Ramsey, N.J.

"We just finished a 7 on 7 with them, and we're going to be scrimmaging them at the start of August," he said.

The Don Bosco roster is covered with prized prospects, including five-star defensive end Darius Hamilton, four-star cornerback Yuri Wright, four-star safety Elijah Shumate and four-star wide receiver Leonte Carroo.

"It's great. It's a lot of competition. Anytime you can match up to see how well you are against a lot of the great players in the country and a great team that's that highly-ranked, it's a good way to prepare yourself," Bower said.

Bower noted that he plans on taking all five official visits. He will not be an early enroll. His current GPA is 2.9, and he wants to major in financial advising.


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