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Friday, January 25, 2013
LSU looking to win prospects over

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- With signing day looming, LSU is looking to sway some heavily recruited defensive talent this weekend as three players holding multiple SEC offers are scheduled to visit.

ESPN 150 defensive end Tashawn Bower (Somerville, N.J./Immaculata), an Auburn commit who has been taking visits to other schools, highlights a trio of uncommitted defensive players coming to Baton Rouge.

Tashawn Bower
With Tashawn Bower, an Auburn commit, visiting LSU, the Tigers have a shot at flipping an ESPN 150 DE.
Also visiting will be Eddie Jackson (Pompano Beach, Fla./Boyd Anderson), the late-blooming wide receiver/defensive back who has received a lot of late interest, including a blitz by Alabama, which had him in for a visit last weekend followed by an in-home visit from head coach Nick Saban in the middle of the week.

Last, but far from least, is Duke Riley, the linebacker from River Ridge, La./John Curtis who has a grayshirt offer from LSU and chose late Thursday night to visit LSU this weekend after earlier scheduling a trip to Ole Miss, which is offering a conventional scholarship.

The trio will join already committed Tiger prospects Tevin Lawson (Denham Springs, La./Denham Springs) and Jeremy Cutrer (Kentwood, La./Jewel Sumner).

Bower is making Baton Rouge the last of his four scheduled official visits. Ranked No. 132, Bower is one of the few players taking visits with just 12 days until signing day. So this could be the Tigers’ last chance at one of these ends, assuming LSU doesn't get a visit from the nation's top player, Robert Nkemdiche.

There was talk Jackson might commit to Alabama after Saban visited, but Jackson did not and confirmed Thursday afternoon that he would visit LSU as planned.

Jackson is being recruited to LSU as a defensive back, a huge need for the Tigers, who lost out on the Priest Willis and Tahaan Goodman sweepstakes when both committed to UCLA on Wednesday. LSU has just one safety in the class, Cutrer. Jackson can also play cornerback.

Riley's decision to go to LSU this weekend instead of Ole Miss bodes well.

Earlier Thursday, Riley's high school coach, J.T. Curtis, noted that Ole Miss had other linebacker prospects visiting this weekend and there's a chance one might commit, and fill the Rebels' need at the position, while Riley visits Baton Rouge.

"It's a tough decision,” Curtis said. "But he'll make a good decision."

That decision was to visit LSU, which is offering to bring Riley into the fold in the 2014 spring semester. LSU does not have a pressing need at linebacker for the 2013 class, but perhaps LSU thought Riley, the Class 2A defensive player of the year in Louisiana, was better than many of the linebacker prospects in the 2014 class.

He's already visited Minnesota and Tulane and has interest in Kentucky.