With national signing day now just two days away, the madness will soon be tucked away for another year. Every year we think we’ve seen it all, then every year we’re amazed all over again.

Two years ago Brent Calloway’s recruitment stole the show. The long-time Bama commit turned to Auburn via an apparent high school coach and blood-thirsty AU staff, then turned back to the Tide.

We also had Cyrus Kouandjio, committing to Alabama for an eternity only to take a visit to Auburn the weekend before without his parents. Signing day saw the big offensive lineman make an inexplicable flip to the Tigers, committing at his school without submitting his papers. Days later he reneged and signed with Alabama.

This year’s story has been Reuben Foster, of LaGrange, GA. Then, ironically, after his mother’s job change…suddenly…of Auburn, AL.

People change jobs and locations for all kinds of reasons, but when your son is the #1 linebacker prospect in the nation, and the defensive player of the year in the state of Georgia as a junior, you landing a job in the city where a rival college is recruiting your son is always going to raise an eyebrow or two. It just is.

Alabama fans had long been wary of the seemingly shady recruiting tactics of Trooper Taylor and crew. These kinds of storys seemed to keep surfacing with Taylor standing in the wings. As an illustration, if somebody stole the Dorito’s, Taylor’s fingers always seemed to be orange.

Things came to a head on Foster’s recruitment last summer when the long time Bama commit (since July 2011) suddenly had a change of heart. But how it happened is where the weirdness kicked in.

On July 12, 2012, Reuben Foster held a press conference in the cafeteria of Auburn High School, releasing a 150 word statement about the decision. The statement was almost word-for-word with the statement released by TJ Yeldon in December 2011. Yeldon de-committed from Auburn to enroll early at Alabama. The carefully worded statement was seen as a shot across the bow of the Alabama football program, orchestrated by a twisted coaching staff willing to use the kids they recruited as their pawns.

Pictures of the Auburn logo tattooed on his forearm hit the internet, and it was thought the bush-league antics of Auburn football had once again prevailed. But once the coaching staff exposed themselves as the sham that they were throughout the course of the 2012 season, Foster’s recruitment took another turn.

After the firing of Gene Chizik, Foster drifted back into the land of the de-committed. Still thought to be an Auburn lean, his recruitment continued by several schools, including Georgia and Alabama.

Foster had visited Tuscaloosa in mid-January, and the weekend before last he spent in Athens. Last weekend, however, is where it got weird again.

On his official visit to Auburn, rumors began spreading like wildfire that Foster had an altercation with a current Auburn player who used racial speech aimed at the prep star. Foster then cut his visit short and drove…where?…to Tuscaloosa, where he spent the rest of the weekend with current and upcoming players.

At 6:00pm tonight, all of the drama is scheduled to come to an end. Reuben Foster is scheduled to announce his final decision. Who knows where he’ll end up, though many think Alabama (again) is now the strongest possibility.

But one thing is for sure: The player once referred to as a young Rolondo McClain bares a lot of striking resemblances off the field. Wherever he ends up, there better be structure.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban can look Reuben Foster in the eye and tell him he’s got twenty players just like him. That’s not to say Foster can’t be the best amoung that twenty, but the worst thing that can happen to Reuben Foster is for him to end up at a school that needs Reuben Foster more than Reuben Foster needs the school.

The player that has been at that wrong end of puppeteering for almost two years needs saving. In that regard I’m reminded of the words within an old Jars of Clay song, Fade To Grey:

“It’s in despair that I find faith
Summons the night to bow down to day
When ignorance is bliss
Won’t you save me from myself”

Reuben Foster desperately needs someone to save him from himself. Give him the right environment and he’ll be making NFL money in three years. Give him the wrong one, and this wildly talented player’s drama could end in tragedy.

Of the schools mentioned, which school and coaching regime has been proven in the last six years to give him the best shot at that structure and the NFL payoff that awaits? You know the answer. But in the weird recruting saga that is Reuben Foster, who knows how it’ll end.

UPDATE – 2/04/13

Looks like Reuben has chosen to Roll with the Tide…

…again. 🙂

(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)

25 thoughts on “RECRUITING UPDATE: Saving Reuben Foster (Updated)”

  1. Good post ITK. I hope that he does end up somewhere where he will get structure. Being and Auburn fan I feel that Malzahn is finally bringing that back to auburn. Chizik and company let structure fly out the window over the last four years. But Foster definately needs solid leadership for sure. I am hoping he finds it wherever he lands. And great call on Referencing Jars of Clay! Great band!

    1. Cool band indeed. Working at a camp in college, I got to meet them just a couple of weeks after they released their first album. Nobody knew who they were, then I heard them in sound check and was blown away.

  2. I’m not sure Foster is a fit at Bama. We culled all of our McClains a long time ago. That’s one reason the team keeps such good chemistry. Foster said he will choose the sxhool that offers him the best opportunity to spend time with his daughter and mother. Well that kind of nails it right there. How can anyone improve on going to school in the town your family lives in. But other than that can you imagine Saban bending to some recruits demand to let him leave campus and or maybe practice whenever he wants and travel to Auburn. It ‘ain’t happening! Now it’s noble to want time with your family, but it would be far more responsible to play football at the school that gives you the best chance to go pro and make millions for the future of your family. That calls for a little present day sacrifice. I’m just not sure Foster has the Saban attitude that Bama requires. RTR!

    1. @Crimsonite——-if it helps, we’ve seen it before.

      I admit first I don’t keep up with a ton of recruiting news. It’s a lot to figure out.

      But we’ve had players come to Alabama who I was excited about but never played a single down because they weren’t cut out for the discipline, schedule and academics, or all of the above. Football is only a small portion of the year, and the “bad seeds” don’t often make it anywhere near the regular season.

      I wish I could remember specific names, but if they didn’t play for Alabama it’s harder for me to remember.

      But look at it this way—–ALL talent, even Richardson, Ingram, Jones (take your pick), Milliner, McElroy, Lacy, Foster, Williams, Bell, Yeldon, McCarron and Clinton-Dix don’t come to Alabama with the right attitude.

      You can’t be prepared for Alabama. Nobody can. Foster isn’t prepared for Alabama, maybe just as much as any player who has helped win a championship at Alabama under Nick Saban. You just have to be prepared to accept the challenge. Some players can’t, and they don’t get far. Thanks to Alabama having more depth than a Kardashian’s nature-pocket, those players are both less frequent and weeded-out more quickly than ever. You can train a 300-pound athlete to be a champion, but you can’t often train a 140-pound champion to be a 300-pound athlete.

      Depth. It’s what’s for dinner all day Wednesday. Roll Tide.

  3. One post I finally agree with. Who ever he decides to go with will have to deal with some drama for sure.

    One thing you forgot to mention about Kouandjio is that his high school athletic dept DeMathia High got an anonymous 500K donation. Kind of strange huh?

    Some other coaching staffs have Dorrito cheese on the fingers.

    1. @HSC——–I’m not sure what you’re trying to suggest?

      It wasn’t weird Kuandjio’s school got an anonymous donation.

      What’s weird about it is the donation came over a year before he was signed to Alabama—-you know, when he was verbally committed to Auburn? Besides, tOSU players have gone there, among others. I don’t understand the allegation, or if it is one?

  4. Same thing happened at Ha Ha’s school in Floriduh. Also happens that both were within the rules or the NAZI Party would have been on something that big with both feet. Actually it was Aubie boosters trying to pull another Scam and they got a rim-job instead. Bwaa Haww Haww! RTR!

  5. Smurf Shit, we are not Barnturds. With the #1 overall recruiting classes 6 years running we are not exactly slumming. If the boy is full of it, that’s his loss – not Bama’s. We’ll get #16 this year with or without him. And if he stays you Barnturds can rejoice since that dumbass tatoo he got will be the closest thing you have to another Natty in your lifetimes. Bwaa Haww Haww! RTR!

  6. Like Smurf Shit said, he ‘ain’t signed yet. This is the boyo who intentionally embarrassed Bama by mimicking TJ Yeldon’s flip speach, and then put that ugly assed Barner tatoo on his arm. The guy is capable of continuing the game. Wouldn’t surprise me if he pulls another mimic of Cyrus K and not fax in his LOI on Wednesday and then flips back to Aubie later in the week. It also wouldn’t surprise me if some moron of an Alabama Booster paid the Aubie lineman to insult and threaten Foster so that he would feel uncomfortable with Aubie. Stranger things have happened in this rivalry – see Gene Jelks. Just saying.

  7. In recruiting rankings we are now #1 in Rivals, #1 in 247sports, #2 and pushing Florida’s ass in ESPN. Still #8 in Scout where Michigan is #1 and has their only top 4 ranking. So you can just throw that service out as totally irrelevant and stupid. Besides Scout doesn’t count Jr College athletes and Michigan doesn’t have any. They also haven’t updated to include Foster yet, so we should mive up 2 or 3 spots. Funny, but nobody give us credit for our walkons and Luke Del Rio would give us an nice boost. Stupid. Anyway we sjould be #1 in the only 3 services who make sense and therefor will win the consensus national recruiting title. RTR!

  8. Ya’ll need to read the al.com story on Aubie Zen and R. Foster. Jesus H. Christ, I’ve never read anything like those Aubie posts. They have to have the dumbest damn, most delusional fanbase in the fucking universe. I am now convinced that they AREN’T actually jealous of Bama. They can’t be since they would actually have to have brains to be able to feel jealousy! Those dumb fucks actually think they are the elite school in Alabama. They actually think Bama is teetering on the edge of falling into or being driven into mediocraty by the NCAA. They actually think that if we were to have a downfall, that we would have nothing to boast about as if the history we’ve already made counts for nothing. The stupid bastards actually consider their 1957* Natty as the first legitimate Natty brought to the State and therefore it is they who started football fame in Alabama. Isn’t that the Natty where they were on probation for buying players and they had to share it with Ohio State? RIGHT! Fuking delusional retards. It’s depressing to read all those dumbass posts and realize that’s the best instate rival we have. Embarrassing. Why couldn’t we have an instate rival like Tex A&M or Fla St or UCLA or even Ga Tech? Why Aubie? Geez. RTR!

  9. There’s no way that Foster can sign with Alabama. Auburn paid him a bunch of money, got his mother a job and the AHSAA (wait, I mean the NCAA) is still investigating the whole incident. There’s no way he could simply walk away. Unless, by the bammer Cam Newton-Cecil solicited money from-MSU-ipso facto Auburn outbid MSU and bought Cam rationale, Bama therefore outbid Auburn and bought Reuben? I guess this means that Reuben’s Mom will now be starting her new job as Executive V.P. of the First Bank of Tuscaloosa.

    I’m curious to hear if Dee Liner will still be considered a thug by the Capstone Report after he faxes in his LOI tomorrow.

    1. Thugs under Nick Saban, disciplinarian, teacher and mentor, have a chance.

      Thugs in regimes like Auburn, where the good ole boy network is in full throttle, do not.

      It’s not automatic, and if Liner, Foster and anyone else dares jerk with the system, they’ll be processed. But if they honor and follow it, they’ll be millionaires.

      It ain’t hard, Abraham. Take off your orange and blue glasses and just embrace the suck that is Auburn football and the dominance that is THE University of Alabama.

      1. This is exactly right.

        There have been plenty of recruits and new players, exciting prospects at the University of Alabama but who never played a down. They got in trouble, or couldn’t keep up, or couldn’t compete, or didn’t want to adhere to the discipline that makes you able to be in the competition for a champion.

        It can (and has) happened to some of the highest-rated recruits.

        Meanwhile, 3-star recruits become first-round draft picks and national title winners.

        You either stay on or get kicked right the hell off the Alabama train. Roll Tide.

  10. I do like Doritos, but it is not a good idea to put a big Doritos sign on the windshield of your car…

    Glad this kid saw the light and came to play for Coach Saban…

    Roll Tide!

  11. Meech is obviously extremely butt hurt ober the matter, snd A e is so damn jealous I’d sure hate to be his wife, kid or dog.liner is eelcome to come and turn his life around. If not he won’t last a semester. Don’t you have enough to worry about with that mess over in Lee County. Don’t come over here bothering the Emporer fool. RTR!

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