One of the top prospects in the country spoke only a few words and declined to answer questions Thursday when he announced that he was switching his commitment from Alabama to Auburn.
But the way Auburn High linebacker Reuben Foster revealed his change of heart spoke volumes: The recruiting wars in the state of Alabama are as fearsome as ever, and Foster’s switch is the latest salvo.
Sitting in a front of a microphone at the Auburn High School cafeteria, Foster read a roughly 150-word statement that was almost identical to the written statement issued by Daphne running back T.J. Yeldon last December when he switched his commitment from Auburn to Alabama.
Yeldon’s last-minute flip was stunning, as it came during a recruiting dead period and just weeks before Yeldon was scheduled to enroll at Auburn.
On Thursday, Auburn coaches may have been able to enjoy a taste of revenge. Coaches can’t comment on prospects until National Signing Day, but Auburn High football players Cameron Luper and Blaise Taylor (sons of AU assistant coaches Curtis Luper and Trooper Taylor) were there to savor the moment in their fathers’ absence.
Foster’s commitment was worth celebrating for Auburn. Originally enrolled at Troup County High in LaGrange, Ga., Foster transferred to Auburn and was being recruited hard by the Tigers, who invited him to Big Cat Weekend this summer.
Rivals.com ranks him the No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 2 overall prospect in the nation; 247 Sports says he’s the No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 7 overall prospect; he’s ranked the No. 1 middle linebacker and the No. 2 overall prospect by Scout and the No. 2 prospect by ESPN.
Yeldon was also highly recruited, and could have filled an important position of need for the Tigers. With the exception of a few words — and, of course, switching out Auburn for Alabama — Foster read a carbon copy of Yeldon’s three-paragraph statement that was mailed to media outlets in December.
“I want to make an announcement so I can put this behind me and get on with all the work that I need to do for high school and get prepared for college, both academically and athletically,” Foster said.