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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Crimson Countdown: Cade Foster

By Alex Scarborough

During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory

No. 43 Cade Foster
Senior place kicker

Expectations for 2013: Foster turned the corner in a big way as a junior, rebounding from a shaky sophomore season in which he was largely blamed for a key loss to LSU in which he missed three of four field-goal attempts. He used that setback to fuel a 2012 campaign in which he made four field goals of 40 yards or more and put a whopping 46 kickoffs back for a touchback. With Jeremy Shelley now gone, the question is whether Foster can go from the Tide's long-range kicker to the starting place kicker in every way.

Best-case scenario: The stocky Texan has a booming leg, but he needs to improve upon his accuracy in order to beat out redshirt freshman Adam Griffith for the short- to medium-range field-goal attempts. Foster has the edge in experience, but one has to wonder whether or not coach Nick Saban would rather platoon kickers so Griffith isn't totally without experience when Foster leaves after this season.

Worst-case scenario: The trouble with Foster being a long-range field-goal specialist last season was that he didn't have many attempts down the stretch. In fact, he didn't make a single field goal in the final 10 games of the season. He missed two attempts against Tennessee and had a kick blocked against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Where will his confidence be having not seen the football split the uprights in so long?

Future impact: It's only a matter of time before Griffith, the seventh-ranked kicker in the 2012 class, becomes the Tide's starting place kicker. Should he split duties with Foster this season, he'll have the necessary taste of experience he'll need to take over in 2014.