- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
Although the two did grow up together, they never had the chance to be teammates because it would’ve been unfair to every other team in the league. So instead, it was always Bradley’s team taking on Reuben’s team.
The matchup created some epic pee-wee football games growing up until Foster moved away to LaGrange, Ga., in the sixth grade.
“I remember the last game we played against each other,” Bozeman said. “It was just a great game. They scored, and we came back and scored. It was crazy. It was a great game. I just remember Reuben was on the other side, and I was blocking him and then trying to stop him on defense.”
Bozeman’s father, Barry Bozeman, coached his son’s team back in those days, and even he remembers going up against Foster’s team a time or two.
“I remember one time we were playing against Reuben’s team, and Reuben had a broken hand,” Bozeman’s father said. “He was the running back, and he scored two touchdowns on us with a broken hand as a ten-year-old. That tells you a little bit about Reuben’s tough mentality. He was a tough kid even back then.”
The friendship between Bozeman and Foster became more distant when Foster moved away. In middle school, the two didn’t see each other much, but they each continued to play football, chasing their dream of playing in college one day.
By the time they reached high school, Bozeman and Foster had both garnered the attention from the recruiting world. They began hearing from college coaches and taking visits to different schools, and through that, they were able to reconnect.
“We lost touch a little bit, and once we started going on visits and everything else, we connected real good,” Bozeman said. “I never really got to see him much between that time period. It was great just to see him again and reconnect.”
Bozeman enjoyed the recruiting process briefly, but he knew all along where he wanted to go to school. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman committed to the University of Alabama last June, becoming the first player to join the Crimson Tide’s 2013 recruiting class.
Although Foster had moved out of the state, it didn’t take long for him to follow suit. The ESPN 150 five-star committed to UA a month later, and the two friends growing up now had the chance to finally play on the same team together.
“You really didn’t know any of this was going to happen later on down the road,” Bozeman said.
Nearly a year after the two committed to the Tide, Bozeman remains firm with his decision, but Foster has started to entertain other prospective schools. With some of his close friends already committed to Georgia, the UGA coaching staff has made a strong push to sway the nation’s top linebacker.
Last month, Foster moved back into the state of Alabama, transferring to Auburn High School. It’s no surprise that Auburn University is now in play.
“I think the world of Reuben,” Bozeman’s father said. “I just hope he doesn’t change his mind. I don’t think he will, but I know he’s being pulled in a lot of different directions. I sure hope he stays the course.”
Throughout the process, Foster has remained 100-percent committed to Alabama, and the dream of he and Bozeman playing together for the Tide could soon become a reality.
3dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough