Alabama Football Recruiting: Reuben Foster Cements Tide's SEC Alpha Dog Status

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2013

January 4, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Team Nitro lineback Reuben Foster (2) during the first half at the Under Armour All-America high school Game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If the Alabama Crimson Tide weren't the best team in SEC already, linebacker Reuben Foster just earned them that title before appearing in one game. The 5-star recruit out of Auburn, Alabama famously decommitted from Auburn in favor of Nick Saban's pro-style offense, and his explosive style of play is going to help Alabama reign supreme in the SEC for years to come.

Granted, Saban is a great recruiter and the Crimson Tide's status as the best team in the conference wasn't in jeopardy entering this season. After all, after losing five key players following a championship season in 2012, Alabama went on to win its third title in four years in 2013. Even in losing important players to the NFL, Saban found a way to put together a winner.

But winning isn't going to come as easily in Tuscaloosa anymore. Hugh Freeze is building a solid program at Ole Miss, and landing No. 1 recruit Robert Nkemdiche along with many others will help give Alabama a run for its money. Steve Spurrier's work at South Carolina cannot be overlooked either.

However, the addition of Foster to the Crimson Tide's defense is only going to help the team run away with the SEC year after year. This young man has excellent size at 6'2", 242 pounds, and he's only going to get bigger and stronger after spending some time in the weight room.

It should also be noted that his head coach Nick Saban is a defensive genius. Prior to becoming one of the greatest head coaches in the history of college football, he served as a defensive assistant in both the NCAA and the NFL, and he was Bill Belichick's defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1994. If there's anyone who can turn Foster into a star, it's Saban.

That all being said, it's going to be interesting to see how the SEC pans out this season. Ole Miss and South Carolina are sure to make a lot of noise, as will LSU and Georgia. Not even Will Muschamp and the University of Florida can be counted out.

Those schools all have a great deal of talent to help them achieve all sorts of greatness, but none will be able to hold a candle to Alabama this season. Foster is just too important a piece, and his incredible short burst is going to turn the Crimson Tide's defense into one that could even draw the fear of some NFL teams.

Once Foster can learn how to defend passes and play in the backfield, just watch. He is going to be one of the key players to help Alabama defend its title and, in doing so, he will become another Saban-coached legend.