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Sunday, February 3, 2013
Auburn a finalist for ESPN 150 DE

By Dave Hooker

Auburn has made itself a finalist for one of the top defensive ends in the nation. LSU, Florida and Florida State, however, are firmly in the mix as well.

Tashawn Bower said Auburn will be one of the three schools he chooses from on Wednesday. One school will fall by the wayside before then.

"I'm doing three schools," the ESPN 150 prospect from Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata said. "Trying to find out what the third school is. Really don't want so say much about the three schools because I want to talk to all the coaches."

Bower has taken official visits to Florida State, Florida and LSU in recent weeks. He took his official visit to Auburn in September and an unofficial visit to the school this weekend.

Bower committed to Auburn in June. He has maintained his commitment even while inspecting other programs. Bower began evaluating other schools when former coach Gene Chizik was fired and replaced by first-year coach Gus Malzahn.

"Visit went well," Bower said. "I think what stood out was Coach Malzahn's vision and future mission for Auburn."

When asked if the visit firmed up his commitment to Auburn, Bower said, "It's hard to say because nothing different was said compared to what they tell me in my own home."

When asked if he would definitely sign with Auburn on Wednesday, Bower said, "I don't know yet. It will be tough to decide."

Bower is the No. 132 prospect in the nation, the No. 11 defensive end in the country and the No. 4 prospect in New Jersey.