E.A. Sports Today

Foster chooses Samford

Versatile Donoho senior expected to be DE; updates with Scout ratings

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Three days before the revelation of the Class 1A Lineman of the Year and Alabama Mr. Football, Donoho’s versatile Justin Foster has verbally committed to Samford.

Foster told the Bulldogs’ new coaching staff of his decision Sunday morning after returning from an official visit there and announced it over social media. The Bulldogs were among his top three throughout the process and he ultimately chose them over Ohio, Southern Miss, Georgia State and Jacksonville State.

“The main thing was academics for me; they had everything I wanted,” he said. “It’s great that I’m playing football, but the main thing was academics and how can it affect my future and set me up for life.”

Foster said last week his commitment could have come any time after the Samford visit and the next three weeks. He said Sunday the timing and feel were right to make the call at this time with no consideration given to the award announcements.

“It really didn’t have a role; it just felt right to commit at this time,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to get in a rush before the award, it just kind of happened. The cards played out that way.”

Foster was all over the field for the Falcons and his position choices at Samford were between tight end and defensive end. He said it has been decided he’ll be a defensive end for the Bulldogs, who graduate two senior starters and return a junior at the spot.

He played on the defensive line – nose guard, of all places – in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. During the season he had 76 tackles and three fumble recoveries for one of the stingiest defenses in the state regardless of classification, while also amassing 1,200 total yards and 27 touchdowns on offense.

The recruiting gurus at Scout listed Foster at No. 68 among its Top 100 in this year’s statewide recruiting prospects. Oxford’s Tre Gamble, Foster’s Calhoun County teammate, in the all-star game, was No. 23.

Wellborn’s Kevin Mixon (76) and Landon Machristie (81), and Piedmont’s C.J. Savage (82) and Dreek Thompson (85) were also on the Top 100 list.

He hasn’t ruled out a return to offense in the future, and new Samford coach Chris Hatcher is known for dynamic offenses.

“I would love to play offense as well,” he said, “but anywhere I can get on the field and help out the team is where I want to be.”

On Wednesday, Foster could add another honor to his resume. He is among three finalists for the Class 1A Lineman of the Year along with Maplesville linebacker Tyler Armstrong and Cedar Bluff offensive lineman Jake Mintz.

“It’s just a great honor to be selected in the top three,” Foster said. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m not going to be upset if I don’t win and I’ll be overwhelmed with joy if I do.”

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