Reuben Foster: How Latest Visit Impacts Auburn's Chance to Get Back 5-Star LB

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 7, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

It seems as if the Auburn Tigers are still trying to win back the commitment of 5-star inside linebacker Reuben Foster.

Foster is undoubtedly the best inside linebacker in the 2013 class and he'd be a huge re-commitment for Gus Malzahn and the Tigers.

He's big, physically dominant and very smart as a linebacker. What makes Foster so special though is that he also has great agility and quickness to go along with his physicality.

He really is the perfect inside linebacker recruit and the rankings reflect that. He's considered to be the No. 1 linebacker in the class of 2013 according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Foster was at one point an Auburn commitment (he was also committed to Alabama once as well), but he decommited shorty after Gene Chizik and his staff were fired. Foster reportedly has a strong connection with now former Auburn assistant coach Trooper Taylor, and it seemed like the staff turnover was one of the main reasons he decommitted.

Still, Auburn is in the running for Foster, and the latest visit he had with the Tigers does present a bit of good news for Auburn fans. According to Justin Hokanson of, Foster took time to get to know the Auburn staff:

Auburn (Ala.) five-star linebacker and uncommitted prospect Reuben Foster visited with the Tigers' new coaching staff on Sunday, bringing his mother on the visit with him.

"It was good getting to know them. Being with all the coaches and the staff, and being with other prospects they offered," Foster said.

Foster specifically bonded with new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, according to his quotes via Hokanson's report:

"I think a whole lot of him, really highly of him," Foster said laughing on Sunday evening. "He's funny and sweet. He's very cool -- that's my guy, I love him. Out of the whole staff, no offense, but that's my guy. The way he talks, he plays with his phone, he can't see -- I like that type of stuff. It reminds me of my granddaddy. He's my favorite person on the whole staff.

"He has so much experience, bringing that to the table -- they have a lot going on so (Auburn) should be good in the future. Do I want to be a part of it? Maybe, I'm still thinking."

If it seems like the tone may be changing just a little bit in regards to Foster's thoughts on Auburn, it's because it is.

Foster and Auburn seemed like a distant memory as soon as he decommitted and it looked like Georgia, Washington, LSU or even Alabama had a good chance to land his commitment instead. Auburn was in the rear view mirror and it looked like the Tigers' 2013 class was on the verge of falling apart.

All that said, Malzahn has done an excellent job of bringing in top-notch assistants and he was able to weather the storm for the most part. There were still a few losses, but the two main recruits after Foster—5-star defensive ends Carl Lawson and Dee Liner—remained committed (even though Lawson has been wavering).

As it stands, Malzahn offers the hope of new direction and an exciting scoring offense, Johnson is a very good defensive coordinator, and Foster still has the opportunity to play linebacker with two great defensive ends in Lawson and Liner in front of him—two great defensive ends that can collapse the pocket and funnel the ball back inside may I add.

There's a lot to like about the Tigers if you're an elite linebacker recruit...

Auburn is still in the race, and if anything, this recent visit will only serve to increase their chances of getting Foster's commitment back.

247Sports has Auburn and Georgia listed as the two leaders for Foster's commitment. 

It hasn't always been this way, but Auburn has to be feeling pretty good about where they stand with the 5-star linebacker.

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