After playing behind Danielle Hunter at right defensive end the last two years, Bower is being counted on to be one of the leaders of LSU’s youthful line. He talks about getting a shot at starting and helping the younger guys who are trying to take the job he won in the spring.
Watching the past two seasons, how much did you learn from Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco?
I learned a lot. Watching them from behind really humbles you, especially when you were that ‘guy’ in high school. When you play behind people, it really humbles you and you say, ‘This is what I have to do to be them.’
Do the new guys, Arden Key and Isaiah Washington, seem more advanced than most freshmen?
Definitely. They’re smart guys, really students of the game. That’s what I preach to them all the time.
What’s the biggest difference in a high school playbook and a college playbook at this level?
Your playbook in high school goes from a few plays to a bunch of packets of plays, so you really have to grasp things and take it day by day. I tell them to go over a few plays and memorize them. If you get the first one right, you’re doing good. If you get it wrong, just go back and keep doing it; it’s like studying for school.
How much do you help the younger guys, especially the ones trying to take your job?
Yeah, we’re definitely trying to help each other and better each other. It’s good competition ... they’re trying to take my job; I’m trying to keep my job. At the same time, you want to keep the playbook knowledgeable for guys in your position group because you want to have them ready for game time.
You missed a couple of practices early in camp, how has it been trying to hold off the youngsters?
Missing practice I was still teaching them just the same as if I was out there. I just didn’t get the reps myself. I was trying to lead them off the field and show them how to do things. I try to keep them under my wing.
You waited for two years to be a starter and earned the job in the spring. What was that like?
It’s exciting, but it’s all great competiton. Being the starter is great and all, but that can change any second — not just for me, but anybody. I tell the young guys the same thing: There’s sudden change all the time.
While you want to start, you seem level-headed about it in case it goes the other way.
As a team, we’re trying to win. We’re trying to get the best guys on the field and have the best guys behind us so we can be successful.
“Their pictures are up on the wall (in the football operations building) for a reason. It’s like, ‘This is what you want to do. … This is how they were successful and you need to follow in their footsteps.’”
— DE Tashawn Bower, on using LSU’s decorated defenders of the past to make an impression on the younger players.
OUT: FS Jalen Mills (ankle); LIMITED: WR Trey Quinn (head).
Next three up
TUESDAY: Scrimmage, 4:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY: No practice.
THURSDAY: Practice, 4 p.m.