Robert Foster can do just about everything on the football field for Central Valley (Monaca, Pa.). He plays offense. He plays defense. He returns kicks. He even punts.
And there’s a reason why his coach puts him in so many situations. Whenever he’s involved, good things tend to happen.
Even with the punting.
Last year in a game against New Castle (New Castle, Pa.), Foster was punting from deep in his own end. The snap went over his head and bounced through the end zone. But Foster managed to stop the ball just inches from the back of the end zone. With his heels nearly touching the end line, Foster picked up the ball, surveyed the field in front of him, and then he took off. He returned the ball to the 40-yard line, giving his team a first down.
Now a junior, Foster is projected to be one of the nation’s top players next season. He’s already earned scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Penn State and Virginia, and Notre Dame is reported to be in the mix as well.
You’ll get to see Foster in action when Central Valley takes on Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.) on Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. So what should you expect to see from this do-everything stud?
It’s time to Get Familiar with Robert Foster.
And if you want to Get Familiar with the main guy Foster is trying to stop Friday night, Hopewell running back Rushel Shell, click here.
ESPNHS: You’re picking up a lot of interest from colleges and reporters right now. How are you handling the off-the-field stuff so far?
Foster: It’s been kind of crazy, man. A lot of people are asking me what I want to do; I get that all the time. But I’m really more focused on school right now. I’m focused on school and football. If you don’t have school, you don’t have a life. So I’m working on getting ready to take my SATs and working hard and just going from there.
ESPNHS: Are you surprised by the attention?
Foster: I am a little bit. I just kind of let it go in one ear and out the other. School is what most important right now. I really like English and Math classes.
ESPNHS: What was it like getting your first scholarship offer and who was it from?
Foster: The first offer was from Pitt. It felt kind of good. I feel like that first offer kind of brought me out into the spotlight. Ever since Pitt came calling, now I’m hearing from other teams, so now I’m trying to get everything together. I know can go to almost any school I want to, so I’m trying to figure out what I want.
ESPNHS: Football in the WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania) is different from in a lot of places. What does it mean to play in the WPIAL?
Foster: It means a lot. I’m gonna have to say it’s one of the toughest places to play anywhere. You never know what may happen from week to week. There’s a lot of good teams and good players and there’s a ton of competition. I am definitely not the best player out there right now. There’s a lot of other great players.
ESPNHS: So who is the best player out there right now?
Foster: Rushel (Shell) is one of them. He’s one great athlete. He’s a good friend of mine, too. He’s a good kid. He’s really focused, too. One of our goals (this week) is to try to stop him. But more than that we’re just going to go out and have fun out there.
ESPNHS: What’s better, having a big hit or intercepting a pass?
Foster: Oh, intercepting the pass, no question. After you intercept that pass, you have every opportunity to do whatever you have to do.
ESPNHS: Do you prefer offense or defense?
Foster: I prefer offense. I love playing on the offensive side of the ball.
ESPNHS: You’re also a great sprinter during track season. What is it that you like about track?
Foster: It’s the competition. Everyone needs some competition in their lives, and I love the competition because it makes you go out and get better. You just line up and may the best man win. If you really want something, you go out there and you get it.
ESPNHS: What are you doing when you’re not playing football?
Foster: I’m usually working out. That’s what I did all summer. I worked out on my speed, I lifted and I worked out. But when I’m not doing that, I just like to sleep, man. I like to relax.
ESPNHS: What’s the biggest reason for Central Valley’s success this season?
Foster: I think we’ve been working on a routine. Last year coach knew we were good, but I feel like this year we know we’re good. He had enough confidence in us, and now we as a team have enough confidence in ourselves.
School: Central Valley (Monaca, Pa.)
POSITION: Wide receiver/defensive back
TV Show: “In Living Color”
Movie: “Friday Night Lights”
Actor: Mike Epps
Musical Artist: Lil Wayne
Pregame Song: “I’m on One” by DJ Khaled
Athlete: Larry Fitzgerald
School Subjects: English & math
Book: The Bible
NEXT UP: Foster and Hopewell take on Hopewell on Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.