Posted by Bryan Fischer
ATLANTA -- All-star competitions are usually one of the few places that top 100-level players can go at the high school level and not stand out on the field or off next to their teammates. That's not the case for LaGrange (Ga.) linebacker Rueben Foster, an Alabama commitment who has been the center of attention this week at the Rising Seniors Bowl featuring the top players in the state of Georgia in the class of 2012.
"It's been amazing," Foster said of the experience. "I've been meeting new friends and playing on a team with guys I've always wanted to play together with."
With plenty of schools' attention still focused on the upcoming class of 2012, Foster is one of the few recruits in attendance holding a double-digit number of scholarship offers, much less being committed to a program. Having been an Alabama pledge since the middle of July, he is using the chance to talk to other top recruits about the virtues of going to Tuscaloosa to play football.
"We've been texting and talking about playing together. I'm definitely trying to get them to come to my school," he said. "I've been talking to (Georgia commit) Tray Matthews about coming to Alabama. I'm recruiting him the hardest. I want to play with him."
Matthews confirmed that Foster has been in his ear often about the Crimson Tide and admitted the two could see themselves playing together at the same school. There's also another player roaming around the Rising Seniors Bowl who Foster has no trouble selling on Alabama.
"I'm also trying to help (high school teammate) Cortez Leonard play well and get an offer," Foster said. "Coach (Kirby) Smart said he had to come to their camp and do well and he'd get an offer. If he does well and gets an offer, he'll commit with me. I really want him to come."
A MaxPreps 2013 player to watch and future top 100 member when rankings are released, Foster is one of four Tide commits for next year's recruiting class. Though it looks like the 2012 class is destined to be one of the best under Nick Saban, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker thinks that his group can be something special.
"Coach wouldn't let me use the phrase 'Dream Team' because Georgia uses it but we're trying to create a championship team," Foster said. "It's a tradition at Alabama now, because they always win championships and we're trying to be a future championship team.
"With Coach Saban and Coach Smart, who wouldn't want to commit to the #1 head coach and the #1 defensive coordinator? Everybody would and then go to the NFL."
Fast, aggressive and a hard-hitter, Foster has been an impact player on the practice fields in preparation for Friday's all-star game. Although he isn't done growing physically or learning the game, he already has the makings of a prototype Alabama linebacker destined to move on to the next level.
"It's a big deal because they've got some nice linebackers now and are known for putting them in the NFL," he said. "That's my dream."
Although other colleges recruiting him has slacked off plenty with his commitment earlier in the year, Foster is still keeping in contact with several coaches and will take some visits and possibly go to some camps in the spring and summer. He doesn't want to worry Alabama fans however and simply wants to get a glimpse of other programs.
"I'm going to take most of the official visits," he said. "I'm still in love with Alabama but of course I'm going to do my visits. It doesn't make a difference though, I know who I'm true to."
10 days after Foster plays in the Rising Seniors Bowl, Alabama will of course be taking on LSU in the BCS National Championship game and it's no surprise who he expects to win when he sits down to watch the game.
"Alabama is going to take it," he says with a smile, "by three. But it won't be 9-6."
His West squad is hoping they'll be able to produce a similar defensive effort from the first meeting in the game on Friday however.
Photo courtesy of Rising Seniors