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Adjustments LB Reuben Foster Will Have to Make Before Start of Alabama Career

Alabama LB signee Reuben Foster
Alabama LB signee Reuben FosterKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMarch 21, 2013

To say that Reuben Foster's recruitment was a roller coaster would be the understatement of the offseason.

The 6'1", 240-pound linebacker from Auburn (Ala.) High School was initially committed to Alabama, flipped to Auburn in the summer of 2012, de-committed after Gene Chizik was fired by Auburn and ultimately signed with Alabama on national signing day.

Now that the recruiting process is finished, it's time to get down to business.

Just what kind of player will Foster be at the Capstone?

He's certainly got the size, speed and skills to be a superstar linebacker under head coach and Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. 

If you watch his highlight reel, you'll see a guy that flies to the ball, has terrific football instincts, moves sideline-to-sideline and is a great form tackler. That is, of course, once you pick your jaw up off the floor.

But there's still work to be done for Foster to sharpen his game and become a star at the next level.

He needs to become better in pass coverage. Granted, he's probably not going to be asked to do a ton of that in Alabama's system, but if there is a weak point in his game, that's it.

Take a look at the 1:02 mark in the video above.

Carver (Montgomery, Ala.) High School Jeremy Johnson took off, but Foster (No. 2 in blue) bit a little bit on the play action and was burned by the fullback coming out of the backfield. Had Johnson decided to hang in the pocket, he might have had an easy touchdown down the seam.

That's not necessarily a knock against Foster, because he wasn't asked to cover in the open field very much in high school. College is about continuing your education, and I'm sure Saban and Smart will make that part of his curriculum. 

For the most part, Foster has great instincts and flies to the football. But teams that use misdirection could use his aggressiveness against him.

At the 1:11 mark of the clip above, Foster (No. 2 in blue) bit on the jet sweep, was way out of position to make the tackle, slipped after he saw what was going on, and Johnson took off on a long touchdown run. 

Not uncommon. That's part of the reason that spread option offenses have become more and more prominent.

Foster's speed and aggressiveness are both major assets; but if he bites on play fakes, it could lead to big plays from opposing offenses—as was the case in the video above.

All in all, Foster has everything it takes to be a star at the next level. He has drawn comparisons to recently-retired Baltimore Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis and New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo.

Lofty praise, no doubt.

He's not there yet, but it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him mentioned in the discussion with those guys down the road.


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