TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban has spoken with former Crimson Tide linebacker Reuben Foster about the incident that got him sent home from the NFL combine.
Foster was sent home early from the combine after he was involved in a “heated argument” with a hospital employee.
According to Robert Klemko of the Monday Morning Quarterback, Foster “grew impatient with long lines for (medical) exams” and “pulled the ‘do you know who I am’ card.”
Saban provided more details surrounding the situation during Alabama’s pro day.
“Reuben’s been a great player for us here. We’ve never had any issue with Reuben,” Saban said Wednesday. “I think that when you ask someone — if anybody here asks someone eight or 10 times, ‘Am I in the right place, why have I had to stay here for so long’ and nobody will respond to you, I think it will probably create a little anxiety for all of us.
“I know that Reuben wishes that he would have responded in a little more positive way, but I think that other people could have responded and been a little more respectful to him as well.”
Foster attended Alabama’s pro day but did not participate in any drills because of his shoulder injury. He did not speak to reporters.
Some draft analysts questioned whether the incident would cause Foster to drop in the draft. Foster is considered by many to be a top-10 prospect. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Foster going No. 9 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals in his latest mock draft.
Saban believes Foster’s play on the field won’t be overshadowed by this one mishap.
“Anybody that thinks what happened in Indy should affect this guy’s future in the draft is being very shortsighted,” Saban said. “He’s played here for four years. We’ve never had an issue with him. He’s always been a great leader. He’s a signal caller on defense. He’s bright. He’s always been a great team guy, and he’s really liked by his teammates.
“If you’re looking for a good teammate to be on your team, Reuben’s going to be very, very good. If you’re looking for somebody to be a candy striper and be nice to everybody at the hospital, maybe not.”
The 2017 NFL Draft is April 27-29.