Tag Archives: Reuben Foster

Countdown to Spring Football: Linebackers Breakdown

C.J. Mosley, the Defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship Game win over Notre Dame, highlights a linebacking corps loaded with talent. (AP photo)

C.J. Mosley, the Defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship Game win over Notre Dame, highlights a linebacking corps loaded with talent. (AP photo)

Daily Bama Blog correspondent Brett Hudson, like he did for the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame, will count you down to the beginning of spring practice with another series. Each day, Brett will break down a different position group going into spring practice until the beginning of practice on March 16. Here is the schedule.
March 7th: Quarterbacks (click here to read it)
March 8th: Running backs (click here to read it)
March 9th: Wide receivers (click here to read it)
Sunday: Tight ends/H-Backs (click here to read it)
Monday: Offensive Line (click here to read it)
Yesterday: Defensive Line (click here to read it)
Today: Linebackers/Pro Day
Tomorrow: Cornerbacks
Friday: Safeties
Saturday: Opening day of spring practice

After the 2011 season, Alabama had two linebackers, Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw, taken in the first 35 picks of the NFL Draft and lost another to graduation, Jerrell Harris. Yet another national championship later, the Crimson Tide is set for a similarly-loaded linebacking corps.

It starts with C.J. Mosley, the soon-to-be senior that decided to forego a rather promising NFL Draft position to stay for one more season. Mosley had very similar numbers to Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te’o.

Alabama also has returning starters in Adrian Hubbard, Trey Depriest and Xzavier Dickson. The trio combined for 133 tackles and four forced fumbles. Hubbard led the team in tackles for a loss with 11 and sacks with seven. Depriest added four tackles for a loss while Dickson added five with 3.5 sacks.

Replacing Nico Johnson in the rotation will be the alrgest task for the Tide’s linebacking corps this season, and many options present themselves. Last year, Denzell Devall saw his playing time increase as the 2012 season, his freshman campaign, progress forward. Dillon Lee’s freshman season had a similar trajectory before his suspension from the BCS National Championship Game for breaking curfew.

Other options include Tana Patrick and Reggie Ragland, both of whom saw limited action defensively last season but did play larger roles in special teams. Ryan Anderson, the other player sent home from Miami early for breaking curfew, redshirted last season and is now available to contribute.

Alabama has two recruits entering the program at this position, but neither will be in spring practice as early enrollees. The Reuben Foster saga landed in Tuscaloosa after Foster signed with the Tide on National Signing Day. Alongside Foster will be Walker Jones, the younger brother of both Barrett and Harrison. Walker is the only one of the three brothers to play on the defensive side of the ball.

Breakdown: Two seniors (Patrick and Mosley), three juniors (Depriest, Dickson and Hubbard), three sophomores (Ragland, Lee and Devall), one redshirt freshman (Anderson) and two true freshmen (W. Jones and Foster, neither in for the spring).

Prediction: Depriest, Mosley, Hubbard and Dickson are no-brainers for the coaching staff in their starting spots, with healthy splashes of Devall thrown in. Lee, Ragland and Anderson will be competing for a 6th spot of sorts, while the other two will be relegated to special teams assignment or late-game situations in blowouts.

Usually, freshmen that do not early enroll do not have much of a chance at playing immediately in an important role, but Foster and Jones are the exceptions. Foster’s talent had him ranked as the No. 1 linebacker in the nation by certain experts and Jones’ ties to the program should make his transition as seamless as possible. One of these two freshmen could steal the show in the fall, much like Devall did last year.

Saban’s comments on Reuben Foster

Reuben Foster at his signing day celebration Wednesday. (AP photo by Butch Dill)

Reuben Foster at his signing day celebration Wednesday. (AP photo by Butch Dill)

Some of you have requested Nick Saban‘s comments Wednesday about linebacker signee Reuben Foster. We’ve got a transcript for you, detailing Saban’s defense of his new player, who bounced between committing to Alabama, then Auburn, then Alabama again. And we’re throwing in the signing day photo of Foster dressed like Saban.

“We really think Reuben’s a good person and Reuben has a good heart and is certainly a good football player. I think that he really felt bad in some ways maybe by the way he handled his recruiting. I also think that all the media attention sometimes can affect these guys in maybe not the most positive way.

“At the same time, I think Reuben would like to please everyone. I think that he learned in this process that that’s very, very difficult and probably impossible to do. I think that’s probably what he feels bad about. Because he does like to please you is one of the reasons why he is a very good competitor. Some of these things that turn out to be or appear to be not good qualities, actually can be very good qualities if channeled in the right direction. I think Reuben came here because he wanted the structure, he wants to get it right, he wants to do things the right way and we want to help him do that.

“I think he’s got the right heart and right character to do it. I just think that — I would hate to think how I would have managed the attention that he got and a lot of these young people get when I was 17 or 18 years old. I don’t know if I would have been nearly mature enough to be able to manage it the way sometimes people would expect it to be managed. Especially — and you know I love the media and I would never blame this on you all for creating some of the circumstances you create that are very difficult for these young guys to manage.”

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Recruiting: Flipping from Auburn to Alabama

Alabama signed two high-profile players Wednesday who orginally committed to Auburn: linebacker Reuben Foster and defensive lineman Dee Liner.

We’ve got video for you. In the first, Nick Saban talks about Foster’s controversial flip from Alabama to Auburn, then Auburn to Alabama. After that, incoming freshman O.J. Howard talks about convincing Liner to come to Tuscaloosa.

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Foster addresses Alabama, Auburn, Georgia fans on Twitter

Alabama signee Reuben Foster, who picked the Tide over Auburn and Georgia, took to Twitter today to address fans from all three schools:

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Alabama’s class now at 23 officially

Alabama now has 23 members of its signing class, as five-star linebacker Reuben Foster has faxed in his scholarship papers.

Foster is the consensus top-rated linebacker in the country and stands 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds. He created controversy by committing to Alabama, then switching to Auburn in July 2012, getting an Auburn tattoo, then announcing Monday he was committing to Alabama.

Either way, Alabama is getting a good linebacker.

Also, Walker Jones – brother of former Tide All-America lineman Barrett Jones and current Tide tight end Harrison Jones – has turned in his papers, too.

There still are three players out there who are Tide targets. Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson of Fort Worth, Texas, reportedly has told Texas and Alabama coaches he will sign with the Crimson Tide. His official announcement comes later today.

Running back Alvin Kamara of Norcross (Ga.) High will pick between Alabama and Georgia and is slated to announce his choice on ESPNU at 2:30 p.m.

Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes of Placer High in Auburn, Calif., has an announcement scheduled for this evening.

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More Reuben Foster, including his July commitment announcement

We’ve got two videos for you to view today involving Alabama linebacker commitment Reuben Foster.

The first includes his highlights from Auburn High’s 8-7 loss to Opelika in the Class 6A state quarterfinals. Foster wears No. 2, and his team is in the black jerseys. The first play when he makes a tackle on the kickoff return might be the most impressive.

Keep in mind this past season’s starting middle linebacker at Alabama, Trey DePriest, was a special teams ace in 2011. Maybe Foster could fill that role in 2013?

The second video was done by 247sports.com and includes his July 12, 2012, announcement when he committed to Auburn.

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Saturday recruiting roundup

Alabama has one recruit on campus taking an official visit, but according to multiple reports by recruiting services, at least three more are in Tuscaloosa on unofficial visits.

The biggest news is Auburn High linebacker Reuben Foster, the No. 1 middle linebacker prospect nationally according to Scout.com, was in Tuscaloosa today. Several recruiting services are reporting Foster left Auburn during his official visit there and traveled to Alabama.

Circumstances surrounding Foster leaving Auburn are unclear, but there are plenty of rumors, including that he had a confrontation with an Auburn offensive lineman.

In addition, running back Alvin Kamara of Norcross, Ga., and defensive lineman Jarran Reed of East Mississippi Community College are there, too.

The one official visitor is Eddie Vanderdoes, a defensive tackle from Placer High in Auburn, Calif.

The Crimson Tide has 22 commitments, including defensive tackle A’Shawn Richardson of Fort Worth, Texas, who reportedly told Texas coaches Saturday he is going to sign with the Crimson Tide.

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Foster will announce his decision Monday

Prep linebacker Rueben Foster will announce his college choice Monday at 9 p.m. on Fox Sport South’s “The New College Football Show: Next Class 2013.”

Foster is a 6-foot-2, 228-pound linebacker from Auburn High, and Alabama, Auburn and Georgia are the schools he is considering. Rivals ranks him as the No. 1 linebacker nationally.

The broadcast also will include running back Alex Collins of South Plantation High in Plantation, Fla. He is considering Florida, Florida State, Miami and Wisconsin and will announce his choice on the show.

Another Tide target, Muscle Shoals defensive lineman Dee Liner, will announce his decision Wednesday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.

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AJC: Reuben Foster, his mother talking to somebody

Football recruit Reuben Foster and his mother are talking with either NCAA of Alabama High School Athletic Association investigators, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Foster changed high schools in April from Troup High in Georgia to Auburn High, and in June, he also has switched commitments from Alabama to Auburn. Foster is considered a five-star prospect and is rated as one of the country’s top linebackers.

“They [the NCAA] are talking with Reuben and me,” Foster’s mother, Anita Paige, told the AJC. “They want to make sure there was nothing illegal done to get us down here, or anything like that. They want to make sure there wasn’t a college booster involved.

“No, there was not a booster involved or anybody from the college involved. There was nothing illegal.”

Following published reports that Paige spoke with the AHSAA rather than the NCAA, the AJC reached her again tonight. She refused to clarify who she spoke with.

For the rest of the story, visit the AJC. This link goes to the latest story.

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