Tashawn Bower: Defensive End Saves LSU's Defensive Front with Commitment

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIFebruary 6, 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 23:  Head Coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers leads his team in the fight song after a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on November 23, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 20-13.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

It hasn't been the best of days for Les Miles and the LSU Tigers, but that might have all changed with a big commitment from defensive end Tashawn Bower.

Heading into national signing day, the Tigers looked like a front-runner for top recruit Robert Nkemdiche. The defensive end took a last minute visit to LSU last week, and had this to tweet afterwards:

LSU was also a projected front-runner for another defensive end prospect, Tim Williams, who hails from Baton Rouge and is a 4-star recruit via ESPN.

So you can see how Les Miles started his day on a sour note, with Nkemdiche committing to Ole Miss, and Williams spurning LSU for rival Alabama.

With defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo headed to the NFL draft—both as juniors—LSU is in need of obvious defensive line support.

Both players combined for 21.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks last year, anchoring an LSU unit that ranked eighth in the FBS in total yards allowed per game.

Nkemdiche and Williams could have fixed the problem, and without them things looked bad. Until Tashawn Bower stepped in.

The Tigers finish their national signing day with four defensive end commitments, and the ESPN 4-star recruit is the best of them all.

The 6'5", 241-pound athlete was heavily expected to land at Auburn, so it was big news when ESPN's Derek Tyson took to Twitter to announce:

Bower had this to tweet about his decision to change his commitment:

The New Jersey native is a great attacker at the line. He'll help solidify the Tigers' defense while providing a big disruptive force up front.

His high motor makes him dangerous in pursuit, and he should compile a hefty amount of sacks.

And with LSU's exodus of talent, there's a big chance that the talented Bower starts as a true freshmen in the 2013 season.

In terms of ESPN's recruit rankings, Bower is the 132nd best prospect in the top 150, and No. 11 overall at the defensive end position.

True, Bower is no Nkdemdiche, and there's a very good chance he's no Williams. But Les Miles needed some kind of top talent for his defensive line, and Bower provides him with that.

His commitment didn't just help save LSU's defensive line for 2013, but the program's entire national signing day as well.