The LSU Tigers missed out on Robert Nkemdiche, but they scored big with future defensive end star Tashawn Bower.
The suspense built all Wednesday morning. It was national signing day and Bower had yet to sign his letter of intent. Was he still going to Auburn? Could Florida steal him away? ESPN's Derek Tyson answered that question on Twitter with neither:
Now that Bower is an LSU Tiger, it's time to get to work. With the anticipation of his signing is over, it's time to focus on what his arrival at LSU exactly means for the program.
Considering that the starting defensive end positions are wide open and his flashy 4-star rating, he just may have enough hype behind him to become a full-time starter.
Bower is an ESPN 150 player with great size and quickness. His 6'5", 241-pound body frame, mixed with his athleticism and explosiveness at the defensive end position, will give him more than just an opportunity to start in 2013.
Les Miles and John Chavis have a knack for starting freshman on the defensive side of the football. And with both Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo heading to the NFL draft, Miles' hand may be forced next season.
Expect Jermauria Rasco to hold down one of the defensive end positions. He's a great talent with tremendous upside, so that's the feeling heading into next season. If Bower and fellow 4-star defensive end Frank Herron are as good as advertised, they should battle for the other spot.
It comes down to which defensive end can come in right away and have an immediate impact. Don't expect either guy to have the type of influence on the game that Montgomery and Mingo had last season for the Tigers. But that doesn't mean they won't make big plays.
So, which of these two great defensive end recruits have the advantage to start over the other?
Well, LSU likes to get up the field quickly on the defensive line, and Bower gives the Tigers their best opportunity to do that. Herron looks to be a run stuffer on the outside, while Bower seems to be the more athletic of the two.
In other words, Bower is more well-rounded at this point.
Bower fits the system better, has the size advantage over Herron and has the speed to get after opposing quarterbacks. He is poised to start as a true freshman.