Reuben Foster: Why Georgia Has Edge over Auburn, LSU and Miami for 5-Star LB

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIDecember 11, 2012

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Reuben Foster has become one of the most sought-after recruits in the class of 2013 since decommiting from Auburn, and there are plenty of major programs out there that would like to land him.

Frankly, they all have very good reason to want his commitment. Foster is 6'1'', 250 pounds and runs a 4.60 40-yard dash according to 247Sports. He has the size to be great against the run, but he also has the athleticism and speed to be a dominant pass rusher and make plays in the open field.

He's ranked as the No. 1 inside linebacker recruit in the class of 2013 according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

There have been plenty of schools mentioned that are trying to talk and visit with Foster, including Alabama, Washington and Georgia Tech. He's even talked with new Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and has admitted to wanting to visit Texas A&M (Gerry Hamilton/247Sports).

All of that said, Kynon Codrington of thinks his recruitment will come down to three programs, with four in the running right now.

Reuben Foster backed off his pledge from Auburn, the same week Gus Malzahn was hired to lead the Tigers. Foster said he is considering Georgia, LSU, Miami, and Washington.

Miami is the only school he has yet to visit either officially or unofficially, so the 'Canes have a long way to go. I think it comes down to War Eagle, the 'Dawgs or the Bayou Bengals.

While LSU is always a good option for an elite linebacker, and Auburn will certainly try very hard to get him back if you're asking me, Georgia holds the edge over the four schools mentioned, plus any other program that may get into the mix.

Georgia has a ton to offer—national relevance, a great fanbase and a program that's able to compete and win in the SEC—but their biggest draw may come in the form of another one of their 2013 recruits.

4-star safety Tray Matthews has been a Georgia commitment since August of 2012, and he's reportedly a very good friend of Foster's, In fact, Michael Carvell of actually states that Matthews is the main reason the 5-star inside linebacker is considering the Bulldogs.

Carvell also reports that Matthews (who is enrolling early) will be Foster's player host when the 5-star linebacker officially visits Georgia. Matthews has heard that Foster is supposed to officially visit, per Carvell's report:

“I heard that Reuben is supposed to be making an official visit, I’m supposed to be his host, and I’m going to show him around,” Matthews told the AJC. “I will be there on Jan. 6, so whenever he takes his official visit, I will be his host.”

Foster and Matthews have been in contact several times per day since Foster decommitted from Auburn on Friday.

“We talked Friday, we talked Saturday, we talked before then … I’m just trying to be a good friend to him, telling him I’m here for him,” Matthews said.

Foster's relationship with Matthews gives Georgia a pretty big advantage over the other potential teams.

From what I've gathered about Foster, personal connections mean a lot to him. He was very open about wanting to follow now-former Auburn assistant coach Trooper Taylor because of the connection and father-figure relationship that he had established with him, and it's probably not a coincidence that he ended up decommiting from Auburn after Taylor was not retained on their staff.

Taylor still may be a key figure in his recruitment, but I have to believe that having one of his good friends host him on an official visit to Georgia would make a huge impact with Foster if it does indeed happen. Carvell reported that the two had once made a vow to play on the same college team, and while that doesn't mean anything officially, it at the very least gives us an indication of the friendship between the two players.

It's often easy to forget in the world of recruiting where everything is hyped and analyzed, but these are still high school seniors that we're talking about, and their transition to college can be just as awkward and nerve-racking as anybody else's. Having a friend that he knows and is comfortable with at Georgia could be a huge plus for Foster, and at least for now, one has to believe that it gives them the advantage.

Coach Taylor's true impact on Foster's decision still remains to be seen, but his future is up in the air. In the meantime, Georgia can provide Foster with all the positives of a great football program. Plus, he'll have the chance to team up with his good friend to fulfill their vow.

That's enough to give the Bulldogs the edge for the 5-star linebacker.

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