ESPN 150 prospect Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) already has switched his commitment from Alabama to Auburn, but if he makes another change, it will have some interesting consequences.
Foster has a large Auburn tattoo on his forearm.
The Under Armour All-American said he discussed this concern with the University of Georgia recently.
“I told Georgia in my head I am unsure, because I have an Auburn tattoo, but Georgia told me not to worry about it, because they will take me with open arms,” Foster said. “They said I like to wear sleeves anyway, so it would only be showing when I am in the game. I do like wearing sleeves.”
On Friday, Foster saw Georgia defensive coordinator Rodney Garner and inside linebackers’ coach Kirk Olivadotti on the sideline as his team defeated Oak Mountain 34-10 in the first round of the playoffs.
“It was great seeing Georgia on the sideline Friday, because I had not seen them in a while,” Foster said. “It made me feel good to see they still want me and are still showing love.”
Foster has been a key target for Georgia for several years now, even after his initial commitment to Alabama in July 2011 and subsequent switch to Auburn a year later. One thing that stands out about the Bulldogs to Foster is the consistent effort the coaching staff has put into his recruitment from day one.
“Georgia is making a strong push for me,” Foster said. “They hit me up on Facebook, and they have showed me nothing but love and respect ever since the beginning.”
On Saturday, Foster was in attendance at Jordan-Hare Stadium to see Auburn play host to Georgia. The Bulldogs shut out the Tigers 38-0, putting Auburn at 2-8 and winless in the SEC this season. Georgia on the other hand, earned its second straight trip to the SEC Championship game. The experience came with mixed emotions for Foster.
“I saw Auburn make a lot of mistakes and Georgia dominate,” Foster said. “Seeing a school that I committed to and a school I really like is crazy. You feel like rooting for both teams, but you know that you can’t. You just can’t.”
Foster has heard rumors and speculations about the future of the coaching staff at Auburn.
“Right now I am going to stay strong and stay solid,” Foster said. “If there is a coaching change at Auburn, I would be hurt. It is crazy how they are talking about changing the coaching staff and getting rid of Coach (Gene) Chizik. I am going to be sad, and I will be mad.”
The No. 24 prospect in the country has been in this situation before. It was a coaching change at his previous high school, LaGrange (Ga.), Troup Co., that caused him to switch to Auburn High School.
“If there is a coaching change and a new staff is put in place, it would make me want to look around, but at the same time it makes me want to get to know the new staff at Auburn too,” Foster said. “At first I will look around heavily, but it is a no-brainer that I will give them a chance. But if I do and it is not where I am meant to be, then I will take another look.”
As for official visit plans, Foster said those most likely would go to Miami, Washington, Georgia, USC and South Carolina. Foster might return to Athens before then. If he does, he likely will be accompanied by a familiar face.
“I am thinking about visiting UGA again in the next two weeks, and I look forward to chilling with my close friend Tray Matthews and getting caught up with the coaching staff,” Foster said. “Tray is like my brother. He and I playing together is important. Seeing him at Georgia and me at Auburn is kind of weird, because we said we were going to play with each other. It boils down to whoever cracks first.”
In 11 games this season, Foster has rushed 38 times for 313 yards and 14 touchdowns on offense, with 37 solo tackles, five sacks and a blocked kick on defense.