The Georgia Bulldogs are making quite a push for the nation's best linebacker recruit: Reuben Foster.
Foster is a 5-star inside linebacker with legitimate star potential, and the Bulldogs are putting on the full-court press for his commitment in the days and hours leading up to national signing day (Feb. 6).
Foster had a close friend waiting for him to arrive.
“Really the best part of this official was spending time with the coaches and my brother, Tray Matthews,” Foster said. “He is part of the Georgia program now, so he was my host for the weekend. Tray said he loves it there and he really wants me to come there, but at the same time, he wants me to do what is best for me. I have been there plenty of times, so I really do not have any more questions for Georgia.”
Georgia also made a great impression with Foster's mother, per Adams' report:
One person who has not visited Georgia before is his mother, Inita Paige. She had been to Alabama and Auburn, but this was her first time checking out the Bulldogs.
“My mom was able to go and she liked it,” Foster said. “She came because she wanted to see what college I wanted to go to. The coaches made a lot of time for her and I think she likes Georgia a lot right now. She is fine with me going away from home to college.”
For all intents and purposes, the Bulldogs are setting themselves up very nicely.
They can offer Foster a strong personal connection in Matthews, his mother likes the program and Richt is apparently selling Foster on playing outside linebacker and filling the role that Jarvis Jones is leaving vacant in Georgia's defense, according to Adams.
That's a strong pitch for the Bulldogs, and they appear to have a very good chance to land Foster's commitment.
There's only one problem, and that's the Auburn Tigers.
Foster is a former Auburn commitment, remember, and he did go out and get that permanent Auburn tattoo on his arm. He decommited shorty after head coach Gene Chizik was fired, but since then Gus Malzahn and his staff have done a great job of reconnecting with the elite recruit.
Auburn is still a main option for Foster (top three along with Georgia and Alabama, according to his 247Sports interests list), and it is worth noting that Foster does live in Auburn, Alabama. He's also scheduled to take an official visit to Auburn this weekend.
There's no doubting the fact that Georgia has made a strong push for the elite recruit, but many recruiting experts still believe that Auburn is the team to beat.
In fact, I asked 247Sports national recruiting director JC Shurburtt what his thoughts where on Foster's recruitment, and he had this to say about the chances of the linebacker going back to Auburn, via Twitter:
@akonsports If I had to predict now, I'd say yes.— JC Shurburtt (@jcshurburtt) January 27, 2013
Andrew Bone of TideSports.com also took to Twitter with his thoughts on Foster and Auburn:
Auburn def appears the team to beat for Foster.If they offer Cumberlander, and he commits- Game over (IMO).— Andrew Bone (@AndrewJBone) January 28, 2013
The Tigers still seem to be the front-runner for Foster, at least in the eyes of many recruiting experts.
That said, will Georgia's recent official with Foster change things up?
In recruiting, anything is possible, so at the very least the Bulldogs have to be feeling very good about what they were able to accomplish with the elite linebacker.
The visit reportedly went very well, and Georgia has a strong pitch.
I wouldn't say that Georgia has gained the edge for Foster just yet, though, because that's Auburn's edge to lose.