It was a dramatic flip-flop fest, but in the end, 5-star linebacker prospect Reuben Foster made the right decision by committing to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Since Foster was a standout player at Auburn High School, it's easy to see how he was so torn between the two archrival schools. Foster grew up a Tide fan due to his parents' allegiances, and originally committed to join Nick Saban's powerhouse program.
In 2012, though, the young man changed his mind. He switched to the hometown Tigers, much to the delight of the Auburn faithful. Unfortunately for the rebuilding program, that apparent promise also wavered. His final decision was made official on Monday night, just ahead of Wednesday's national signing day.
In fact, SportsCenter's official Twitter page couldn't have done a better job illustrating just how back-and-forth this process has been for Foster:
Check out the Auburn tattoo top LB recruit Reuben Foster got this summer. Tonight, he verbally committed to Alabama. http://t.co/VORcxE4P2/5/2013, 4:45:55 AM
Stringing along both schools in such a way has to be particularly stressful considering how much football means to those communities. For Foster, it was likely all fun and games—but a really tough decision at the same time.
What is certain is how amazing of a football player Foster happens to be with all these recruiting politics aside. At 6'1" and 240 pounds with 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash, there is plenty of reason for the Tide to be excited that Foster is heading to Tuscaloosa.
According to the composite rankings provided by 247Sports.com, Foster is the top inside linebacker prospect in the country and seventh-best player overall.
But most importantly, this was a fantastic decision by Foster, and ultimately the right one. The Tide have won BCS national championships in three of the past four seasons, and have churned out pro linebackers in recent years such as Courtney Upshaw, Dont'a Hightower and soon enough C.J. Mosley.
Foster's ability to diagnose plays and fly to the football in the running game should allow him to see the field sooner rather than later despite the Tide's stacked roster filled with future pros.
In fact, it's a possibility that Foster will see the field frequently even as a true freshman. His pass coverage skills are a bit of a liability, but there is no reason to believe that Foster can't mix it up with the physical offenses of the Southeastern Conference right away.
He should be an instant force against the run and has the speed and range to chase down scrambling quarterbacks.
Against the likes of, say, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and others in the SEC, that will be critical, as Foster will likely be used as a spy in many situations.
There is no question that Foster could have played right away at Auburn. Had he keyed a Tigers turnaround within his first two years, he could have been a legend for the school, which is squarely rooted where he starred in high school.
For a prospective NFL career and virtually guaranteed glory on the collegiate gridiron, though, there was no better destination for an elite prospect like Foster than the University of Alabama.