02/07/2013 01:49 PM
BATON ROUGE – Outside of actual game days, February 6 was the biggest day of the year for college football – National Signing Day. Twenty-seven future-Tigers put pen to paper and officially declared their intent to play for LSU. Among coach Les Miles’ latest Top 10 recruiting class was a bit of a shocker—Tashawn Bower.
Bower – a 6-foot-five-inch, 241-pound defensive end from Somerville, N.J. – had been a long-time commitment to Auburn University, but de-committed after the firing of former head coach Gene Chizik. He reopened his recruiting and, after dropping Notre Dame from the mix, was down to Auburn, the University of Florida and LSU.
Many signs pointed to Bower becoming a Gator. It was even reported and rumored on a few websites early on the morning of National Signing Day that he had faxed his letter of intent in to Gainesville. Bower did his best to clear up the erroneous information by tweeting he had not committed to Florida, and then came mass confusion for many fans. While the false story of Bower being a Gator continued to spread, he was seated at a table in the library of Immaculata High School, wearing a light blue Oxford shirt with a striped tie and dark navy blue school sweater. On the table in front of him was a purple baseball cap sporting the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business logo.
Bower had indeed committed to LSU, his letter of intent was faxed in to Baton Rouge and Tiger fans rejoiced, picking up a top recruit.
How exactly did Bower wind up displaying a College of Business hat, and how prominent was the college in his decision?
Following his announcement yesterday, Bower was quoted by www.mycentraljersey.com as saying that, “Academically, I think they (LSU) have a great business school. I had a really great meeting with the business professors there. They’re all big followers of LSU football and all the LSU programs. And it’s good to know that your professors understand your schedule. I know I’ll have the support there.”
Two of the business professors Bower referred to are U.J. LeGrange Endowed Professor in Accounting Joseph Legoria and J. Trigg and Bettye Baskin Wood Jr. Endowed Professor Kerry Sauley. While Bower was in town for an official visit the weekend of Jan. 26, Legoria and Sauley gave the recruits that weekend a tour of the Business Education Complex.
“I was the academic host and got to speak to him and his mom directly,” Sauley said. “That’s something that I’ve been doing since the Gerry DiNardo era.”
Those who are familiar with LSU’s football program likely know mainstay Sam Nader, who is entering his 13th season as assistant athletic director of football operations and his 39th season overall with the LSU football program. Nader is responsible for overseeing all of the day-to-day administrative duties for the team, and that includes helping out on the recruiting trail.
“Sam asked me to put together some college materials,” Sauley said. “So, I asked (Assistant Dean for Academic Programs) Ashley Junek, and she provided a college overview brochure and the hat.”
Bower received the hat and materials that weekend and, yesterday, made his decision to attend LSU known to the nation by displaying the hat.
As a senior, Bower had a hand in leading Immaculata to the NJSIAA Non-Public II final. He was named the 2012 Courier News High School Football Defensive Player of the Year, recording 95 tackles, including 16 for loss and 11 sacks.
According to Sauley, while the football program is looking forward to gaining another great player on the defensive side of the ball, the LSU E. J. Ourso College is looking forward to having another great student-athlete in the classrooms of its new facility.
Since its establishment in 1928, the E. J. Ourso College of Business has continuously improved and expanded its offerings for students and alumni. Additionally, the college has made it a priority to provide faculty with the resources it needs to further research in every aspect of the business world and to produce industry leaders for the global work environment.
For more information on the E.J. Ourso College of Business, visit http://business.lsu.edu, “like” the college on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LSUOursoCollege or follow the college on Twitter at @lsuoursocollege.
Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013