Under Armour All-American Reuben Foster is on the move.
The 6-foot-2, 242-pound inside linebacker is transferring from LaGrange (Ga.) Troup County High School to Auburn (Ala.) High School.
Foster, a longtime Alabama commitment and future five-star prospect, will attend class and play football just miles away from the Crimson Tide’s most heated rival. He has already moved and will start classes Thursday.
At Auburn High, Foster joins Blaise Taylor, son of Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor, and quarterback Cameron Echols-Luper, son of Tigers running backs coach Curtis Luper -- but Foster said his new home isn’t a factor in recruitment.
“This was really difficult because I had to worry about what the Alabama coaches and Alabama fans want, but I made this decision for myself and my family,” Foster said. “I will play hard at Auburn [High School] and do what is best for me.”
Foster, who was born in Roanoke, Ala., said there weren’t any ulterior motives behind his transfer.
“I go to Auburn High School, and I am right by the Auburn campus, but people need to realize I am going to Alabama and that is where I committed to,” Foster said.
Former Troup head coach Charles Flowers was let go back in February, and Foster was one of two dozen players who protested during school by walking out. He says that is not the sole reason for his departure.
“I wanted to graduate early and they did my coach wrong, so there were two situations that lead me to move,” he said. “Coach Flowers is a good, caring man, and I could not graduate early there anyway. Me and my mom looked up the rules to see how we could do it correctly, and we got my counselor involved as well."
After looking at several high schools in Georgia and Alabama, Foster said a former scrimmage partner helped with the decision.
“I know Coach Trooper’s son from when we played against them in the preseason, and so I called him and he said good things about the school,” Foster said of Blaise Taylor. “So I looked it up online and told my momma that we should go look and see if the school was what it seemed, and we went from there.
Foster emerged as a national prospect after his freshman highlights hit the web, and he has amassed more than 400 tackles the last three years, including 185 tackles and 18 sacks as a junior last fall.
He committed to Alabama over Auburn and Georgia last July, but his decision did little to cool down his recruitment. Subsequent visits to other programs added fuel to the fire. All three of the college coaching staffs have been in contact recently with Foster, all giving their approval for Foster’s move.
“I spoke with Alabama, Auburn and Georgia a lot, and the Alabama coaches said they knew I picked Auburn for a reason,” Foster said. “I spoke to the Georgia coaches yesterday, and they said they really do not care where I go, they just wanted me to do the best and I appreciated that. I spoke to Auburn recently, too, and they said good things about the high school, but I think they are just trying to get me close by.”