SOMERVILLE, NJ — Standout Immaculata High School football player Tashawn Bower has played himself onto the opening day roster of the Minnesota Vikings after a four-year collegiate career at defensive end for perennial powerhouse Louisiana State University.
Bower, a 2013 Immaculata graduate, becomes the second graduate of the Somerville-based high school to make it to the NFL.
Despite a stellar collegiate career, Bower was not drafted by any NFL team, and signed with the Vikings as a free agent.
Bower, who wears the purple-and-gold Viking jersey No. 64, is listed third on the Vikings’ depth chart at right defensive end, behind starter Everson Griffen and Stephen Weatherly.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 250-pound lineman was heavily recruited by several high-profile national programs in his junior and senior years at Immaculata; he narrowed his choices to Florida and Auburn before selecting LSU.
The 22-year-old finished his senior season at Immaculata with 95 total tackles, 16 tackles for losses, 11 sacks, seven pass breakups and three forced fumbles. He was rated a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, and ranked as the No. 11 best defensive end in the nation and the No. 4 prospect in New Jersey by ESPN.
ESPN.com’s top 150 listed Bower as the No. 132 prospect in the nation.
Bower was a four-year starter at LSU, playing 40 games, with seven starts in the 2015 and 2016 seasons; he finished off his senior year in spectacular fashion against the Louisville Cardinals, with three sacks against Heisman Trophy quarterback Lamar Jackson.