Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Top ILB Reuben Foster picks Alabama
By Edward Aschoff
It was a big (late) recruiting night for two SEC schools, as Alabama and Arkansas picked up two very high-profile prospects.
Making appearances on Fox Sports South, top-rated inside linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) committed to Alabama, while four-star running back Alex Collins (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) picked Arkansas.
Foster, who was once committed to Alabama and Auburn, is rated the No. 16 recruit in the ESPN 150, while Collins is the No. 7 running back and No. 57 recruit.
Even though Foster did his fair share of flip-flopping during the recruiting process, few were shocked when he picked Alabama. He might have that giant Auburn tattoo on his right forearm, but after he abruptly left his official visit to Auburn over the weekend to check out Alabama, it became pretty clear that Alabama had moved ahead of the Tigers in his pecking order.
But watching Foster make his decision late Monday night, you could tell that this was something he struggled with. He said on TV that he wasn't really sure what he was going to say or which school he was going to pick until right before the show. He hinted at not really knowing until he was asked which school he'd pick live on set.
Say what you will about the soap opera that was/is Foster's recruitment, but he just never really knew where he wanted to go. He didn't exactly handle it the right way, but he's also a kid. With signing day only hours away, let's just hope that he finally does know that Alabama is the place for him. He's a heck of a player for Nick Saban & Co., and his aggressive playing style will fit right in on Kirby Smart's defense, but we've seen him waffle before. Something tells me it's going to be a stressful time until he finally puts pen to paper on his letter of intent.
As for Arkansas, Collins is huge steal for Bret Bielema and his coaches. Talking with Bielema shortly after he was hired at Arkansas, he told me that his goal was to hit the southeast hard. He knew it was a must and he made it clear that Florida and Georgia would be priorities.
Well, getting a stud back like Collins, who was once committed to Miami for several months, is a great start. Collins is a player who could come right in and make an immediate impact in Arkansas' defense. He's not only a bruising back, but he's elusive and has tremendous speed. He might not be the biggest player, but he isn't going to be afraid to take/deliver hits.
Outside of getting a player of great need, Bielema -- with some help from former Miami head coach Randy Shannon (linebackers coach) -- got a player everyone in the state of Florida wanted. The Canes, Gators and Seminoles all missed out on one of the state's top players. That's big, and it will only help Bielema in the state of Florida from here on out.