- Radi Nabulsi, Reporter, DawgNation
On the surface it would appear that Reuben Foster’s (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) decommitment from Alabama and subsequent commitment to Auburn would mean little to Georgia. He wasn’t committed to the Bulldogs and still is not.
However, he was trying to convince his best friend, safety Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan), to join him at Alabama and he will continue to try to pull Matthews with him to Auburn. Taking into consideration the fact that Matthews and Foster have a pact to play together in college and are working to extend that pact to include others, the Georgia coaches cannot be comfortable right now.
In speaking to Matthews briefly this afternoon, DawgNation asked whether the Foster news would change his commitment to Georgia. Matthews hesitated, then said, “Yes.”
He then asked if we could call him back after he made some calls of his own to learn more about Foster's situation. He did not say how much or in what way his commitment would change, and it was obvious he was uncomfortable talking about it.
Matthews did have nice things to say about Auburn after his most recent visit.
“I visited Auburn a couple weeks ago and I had a really good time,” Matthews said. “It was probably one of my best visits. We had some funny times and some unbelievable moments. I talk to coach Trooper Taylor all of the time and he is one of the funniest people I have ever met. He fits in well with me and my family. Coach Taylor had me and my parents and my sister crying from laughing so much.”
Also interesting is the fact that many Georgia, Auburn and Alabama commits are working on each other to change commitments. Cornerback Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) indicated as much recently.
“Reuben Foster, Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), Bo Scarborough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge), Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett), Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta), Tray Matthews, Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly Co.), Earnest Robinson (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley) and Dee Liner (Muscle Shoals, Ala./Muscle Shoals) all got a plan,” Wiggins said. “I just know we are all going to play together.”
Matthews told DawgNation on July 3 that he and Foster had already decided where they were going.
“We both decided on a school and we are the only two that know,” Matthews said. “A couple of people are not going to like the decision, but we have to do what is best for us.”
Like Wiggins, Matthews indicated that the plan extended beyond Foster and himself.
“Alvin Kamara and Shaq Wiggins are going to as well,” Matthews said. “I can promise you Shaq is going to go wherever I go.”
Johnson, Liner and Robinson are all committed to Auburn and do not have offers from Georgia. Now Foster is committed to the Tigers as well. Matthews, Wiggins and 2014 Georgia wide receiver commit Demarre Kitt are all planning a Saturday visit to Auburn.
On the flip side, Johnson will be visiting Athens for Dawg Night on Friday. The No. 2 inside linebacker might pick up a Georgia offer. The Bulldogs are not hurting at the position since they have picked up commitments from Ryne Rankin (Orlando, Fla./East River), Reginald Carter (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnett) and Johnny O’Neal (Dublin, Ga./West Laurens). Plus linebacker Tim Kimbrough Jr. (Indianapolis/Warren Central) is visiting Georgia for Dawg Night. He is bringing his parents and new coach, and he recently told DawgNation that Georgia is his top school. A commitment from Kimbrough would set up the Bulldogs well going into 2013 at inside linebacker.
That is not to say that Georgia has backed off Foster in the slightest. The coaching staff will continue to recruit him. A commitment from Kimbrough would not affect the Bulldogs' desire for the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker. They didn’t sign any players at that position in 2012, so they could easily take five in 2013. Add to that the expected attrition at the position, and early playing time is almost guaranteed.
What is more important right now for Georgia is to be sure that it does not suffer the same fate as Alabama, losing a top committed recruit or multiple recruits to Auburn. Look for the coaches to try to lock down Matthews and Wiggins at Dawg Night.
2dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough