- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
An Auburn class that already features commitments from two of the nation’s top defensive line prospects in five-star DE Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) and No. 1 rated DT Dee Liner (Muscle Shoals, Ala.), added ESPN 150 defensive end Tashawn Bower (Somerville, N.J./Immaculata) to the mix Tuesday. Bower does not quite present the same type of disruptive ability as Lawson and Liner, both of whom are among the most explosive players in this class and rank amongst the top ten prospects nationally. But overall this is still a pretty darn good defensive prospect.
The New Jersey product displays good first-step quickness and is a tough and active player who could develop into a tough run defender for the Tigers. This is a prospect with nice size at this stage and who displays good playing strength and the ability to play with leverage. He also displays solid recognition skills as well as good speed and effort in pursuit which allow him to be productive against the run. He might not present the same type of pass-rush threat as the other two and he needs to still develop a pass rush arsenal and learn to better use his hands, but he comes hard after the quarterback and can be a productive power rusher who can constrict the pocket and make it tougher for quarterbacks to escape from players like Lawson and Liner.
This is a nice pick-up for Auburn as it continues to piece together a strong defensive class led by an excellent trio of defensive linemen. With a fairly young group returning up front this year, Auburn didn’t need to really address the D-Line in their 2012 class and really didn’t, but now it’s time to start preparing for the future again within that group and the Tigers are thus far doing that in a big way.
An Auburn class that already features commitments from two of the nation’s top defensive line prospects in five-star DE Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga.