Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss the latest rumblings surrounding 4-star quarterback James Foster, who is down to LSU, Alabama, Florida State and Texas A&M. The Tigers were once deemed the favorite for the Alabama native, but what’s the latest?
QB James Foster talks top schools
LSU quickly became the favorite for 4-star Alabama dual-threat quarterback James Foster when he reeled in an offer from Tigers recruiting coordinator Tommie Robinson at the end of October.
Foster, a top-300 prospect and the No. 14-ranked dual-threat passer in the Class of 2018, quickly dropped his verbal pledge to Missouri after LSU swooped in. That led to Florida State and Texas A&M extending offers and immediately vaulting up toward the top of the list.
The Seminoles and Aggies joined LSU as late offers sticking out to the Sidney Lanier (Ala.) High School standout, who has held to an offer from in-state Alabama since the spring. Those four have distanced themselves from the pack, but there are no clear-cut leaders at this juncture in Foster’s recruitment — at least until he begins taking his official visits in January.
“A lot of things have changed,” Foster told SEC Country. “Alabama came by about two weeks ago. Coach [Derrick] Ansley came by and sat me down and talked to me, so I put them back in the mix with a couple of other schools. … Texas A&M is pretty high on the list. Me and Coach [Jimbo] Fisher had a great bond when he was at Florida State, so we’ve been talking. … I’ve been talking to Coach T-Rob and he’s been wanting to see me when I get back [home from the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game].”
There’s a sense of urgency to land a quarterback binding each of Foster’s top schools.
Alabama is anxiously awaiting for Dec. 20 to arrive to see if it can flip 5-star Ohio State commit Emory Jones. Texas A&M lost its longtime quarterback pledge in the days following Fisher’s arrival in College Station, and like LSU, Florida State and whiffed on its top targets earlier in the recruiting cycle.
Four-star Louisiana quarterback Justin Rogers is primed to ink his letter of intent on Friday with TCU, where he committed over the in-state Tigers back on May 31. Since then, LSU has shifted its focus onto Foster, who will officially visit right after the dead period concludes on Jan. 12 weekend.
“Everything is the same with them,” Foster said of LSU. “When I take my official visit, I want them to make it feel like home. Then, I’ll make my business decision. What feels like home? Having a great relationship with the coaches and the coaches having a great relationship with my mom.”
Foster will be seeking out that “home” feel in Baton Rouge first. The Elite 11 finalist will head to Alabama on Jan. 19 and try to squeeze stops at both Texas A&M and Florida State in the final week before National Signing Day in February.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback will decide from those four schools on Feb. 7 and weigh opportunities on the depth chart versus in-state schools versus longstanding relationships with the coaches. Alabama has dialed up its push — as of late — but the next six weeks will play a bigger role for Foster as he sorts through his top options.
“These are the schools that are coming at me the hardest,” he said, “so I just want to see where I’m wanted the most. It’s a business decision.”
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