- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
The University of Alabama is known for its smashmouth, power football. It’s what has helped them win two national championships in the past three years.
This season has been different, though. The Crimson Tide are playing for another title, but the offensive philosophy has changed. New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier took the reins off quarterback AJ McCarron, and playmakers began to emerge at the wide receiver position, namely freshman Amari Cooper.
The change has also had an impact on recruiting. Friday was a prime example of that as Alabama went in and stole ESPN 150 wide receiver Robert Foster (Monaca, Pa./Central Valley) away from Pittsburgh, the hometown school.
The addition of Foster, the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver, gives the Tide another weapon in the passing game -- a guy who could come in and make a similar impact to Cooper as soon as he steps on campus in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama’s 2013 class in general reflects a change in philosophy. Along with three running backs, the staff has commitments from wide receiver Raheem Falkins, athlete ArDarius Stewart, who’s expected to start on offense, and O.J. Howard, the nation’s No. 2 tight end. Add Foster to that and any future quarterback would be salivating at the wealth of talent he has to throw the ball to.
Friday’s commitment also shows how well Alabama has been able to recruit on the national level this year. Of the 20 commitments in the class, 14 come from out of state and 12 states are represented, ranging from New Jersey to Florida to California.
It wasn’t easy to persuade Foster to leave his home state, but the Tide have added a difference-maker at wide receiver who could help revolutionize the offense for years to come.
8mSam Khan Jr.
3hCraig Haubert and Tom Luginbill
5dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough