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Monday, January 28, 2013
The uncommitteds: Reuben Foster

By Alex Scarborough

Editor's note: From now until signing day, TideNation will examine the remaining uncommitted prospects still considering the University of Alabama. Today, we look at ESPN 150 linebacker Reuben Foster.

Reuben Foster
Reuben Foster still has Alabama as an option.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Reuben Foster's recruitment has played out like a daytime soap opera. Long, long ago, the four-star linebacker was actually committed to the Crimson Tide. He was the top-ranked recruit in the 2013 class and considered to be the next big thing on defense.

Seasons changed, as did Foster's location. Suddenly he was in Auburn's backyard (literally transferring to Auburn High) and giving his verbal commitment to the Tigers. He said it felt right to be in orange and blue, and for a time it looked like the decision to play football on The Plains might hold.

Of course it didn't stick either because after Auburn head coach Gene Chizik was fired and assistant coach Trooper Taylor wasn't retained by Gus Malzahn, Foster chose to reopen his recruitment.

The schools Foster is now considering: Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Washington and Alabama. Somehow more than six months after rejecting the Crimson Tide, Foster is once again thinking about calling Tuscaloosa home.

What his commitment would mean ...

Foster would be a big boost to an already impressive class assembled by Nick Saban and the rest of the UA coaching staff. The Tide has only one inside linebacker committed, and it's three-star legacy Walker Jones.

But depth isn't necessarily an issue for Alabama. Last year's signing class left the Tide stocked with linebackers for years to come with the likes of Denzel Devall, Reggie Ragland, Tyler Hayes, Dillon Lee and Ryan Anderson. With C.J. Mosley, Trey DePriest, Adrian Hubbard and Xzavier Dickson all returning to school next season, the need for a top-end inside linebacker isn't there.

However, Foster may be able to provide Alabama's defense with something it's lacking: a pass-rusher. While Hubbard has developed into a threat getting to the quarterback and Devall and Dickson have shown flashes, there isn't a premier edge-rusher to be had. Foster has the tools to get into the backfield and cause havoc; he's strong, quick and athletic. At 6-foot-2 and 242 pounds, he can take on a tight end or push over a running back.

Last we heard …

Foster returned from an official visit to Athens, Ga., in a relaxed mood, telling ESPN's Kipp Adams that the Bulldog coaches showed him film of Jarvis Jones and said they want him to be, "The next great player at Georgia."

"My decision has gotten a little bit easier," Foster said. "I still do not know where I am going to go, but I am learning how to relax. I will be ready to commit when the time comes."

Foster told Adams prior to his official visit that he could see himself at any of the schools he's considering.

“I think I could make a big impact at Georgia or Auburn,” Foster said. “But knowledge-wise, I think I could get the best out of it at Alabama or Georgia, because of Nick Saban and Mark Richt. Alabama has the best reputation of getting people to the next level, but I could get on the field earlier at Auburn or Georgia. I love so many schools that have told me what I want to hear, and they know what I want to hear, so it is confusing. This is why ... I honestly do not know where I am going to go, but I know it will be wild.”