News Column

Reuben Foster Commits to Tide

Feb. 5, 2013

James Crepea

The ongoing saga surrounding the recruitment of Reuben Foster may finally have reached its end.

Foster, a five-star linebacker prospect and former Auburn commit announced his decision to commit to Alabama during a television appearance Monday evening. The Under Armour All-American and consensus No.1 player in the state chose the two-time defending national champs over Auburn and Georgia.

"I will be attending the University of Alabama," Foster said on FOX Sports South's "The NEW College Football Show: Next Class 2013" on Monday. "I've been loving Alabama since I was a pup. Been raised an Alabama fan."

Foster caused a massive fury of speculation this past weekend when he cut his official visit to Auburn short and ended up in Tuscaloosa. He didn't address the events of the past weekend during Monday's program.

"The experience has been overwhelming," Foster said. "All this pressure and smoke in mirrors.

"There's so much pressure. I've been having angry voicemails. It's crazy how fans blow up your twitter and call you names. It hurt."

What remains to be seen is whether Foster sticks by his decision and signs his National Letter of Intent with Alabama on National Signing Day on Wednesday, because he has had a change of heart before. Auburn's 2013 class has 20 commitments as of Monday evening and could still be bolstered by other top prospects on signing day.

Foster decommitted from Auburn following the firing of Gene Chizik and hiring of Gus Malzahn, a decision which drew national headlines due to the large Auburn tattoo he has on his forearm.

Rated the No. 2 overall prospect in the country by Scout, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Foster was named a USA Today first-team All-American, the state Class 6A lineman of the year and first team All-State on defense. In addition to Auburn, Alabama and Georgia, Foster took official visits to Washington and San Diego State.

"Stress City, Heart Beating Fast, Frog Throat, Best Choice For Me and My Family #commitment," he tweeted Monday morning.

Monday night and early December were only some of the major events in Foster's recruitment which included his moving from LaGrange, Ga., where he played for Troup County High to Auburn in the spring of 2012 where he attended Auburn High with Cameron Echols-Luper and Blaise Taylor, the sons of former Auburn assistant coaches Curtis Luper and Trooper Taylor.

Taylor and the rest of the Chizik staff were fired at the end of the 2012 season, in which the Tigers went 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the SEC.

"I fell in love with (Taylor)," Foster said. "It's not all about emotion, it's a business now. It's a business decision."

Foster recorded 80 tackles (70 solo), 10 tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles and rushed for 411 yards on 55 carries and scored 16 touchdowns in his one season for Auburn high. He recorded 185 tackles and 14 sacks during his junior season for Troup.

He originally committed to Alabama in July 2011, but after moving to Auburn, flipped his commitment between the in-state rivals on July 12, 2012, unzipping the coat of his young daughter, A'Zyia Blackmon, who was wearing an Auburn shirt.

"I thought I was just too young to commit so I decommit and found something new and that was Auburn," Foster said on Monday of his previous flip from Alabama to Auburn.

Foster's flip-flop comes a season after running back T.J. Yeldon flipped his commitment from Auburn to Alabama.

Source: (c)2013 Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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