James Foster‘s Missouri commitment is barely 2 hours old, but he’s ready to swing for the fences to get the top talent to join him in Columbia.
Sitting down with SEC Country writers Chris Kirschner and Ben Wolk shortly after the 4-star quarterback tweeted his commitment to the Tigers, Foster ran through a list of players he wants to join him at Missouri.
He’s not limiting himself to players inside Alabama, however. He wants 3-star athlete Jalen Knox, of Mansfield, Texas, and 4-star receiver Kamryn Babb of St. Louis to also come play with him for the Tigers.
It’s unclear whether Foster, a 3-star dual-threat quarterback across all the major recruiting services, has that type of pull. But his offers belie his ranking, and Foster’s stock is rapidly rising. He held offers from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Arizona, among others, before committing to Missouri on Wednesday afternoon.
Foster said it was Missouri’s “family atmosphere” and his relationship with the coaching staff that pushed them ahead of Georgia, his second-place team.
“Me and Coach [Josh] Heupel, he’s been recruiting me since tenth grade,” Foster said, referring to the Missouri offensive coordinator. “He’s been on me ever since. When I went up there for my visit, he rolled out the red carpet for me and my mom, things like that, and I loved it. It’s really a family atmosphere, like off the field, too. That made me lean to Mizzou.”
Foster’s recent rise into national notoriety showed with the text messages he received after announcing his commitment. He said Derrick Ansley from Alabama and Glenn Shuman from Georgia reached out to him.
“[Ansley] told me congrats on my commitment,” Foster said. “Coach Shuman texted me from Georgia and he said, ‘I thought you were supposed to be coming up for the G-Day game this weekend’.”
And, is Foster still taking that visit to his runner-up?
Foster said Missouri wanted him to be the leader of its 2018 recruiting class, the cornerstone it’s built around. From the beginning, Heupel told Foster he was “on the top of their board” at quarterback, and he would have the opportunity to play early.
“… Drew Lock, he could probably end up going to the NFL this year,” Foster said, “but if he stays, I can redshirt my freshman year until he leaves.”
Because of the trust and faith Missouri put in Foster, the talented quarterback isn’t in the business of half measures.
“I’m locked in with Missouri,” Foster said. “I’m not taking anymore visits.”
Recently, Missouri has seen the effects one top-level recruit can have on a program. Michael Porter Jr., the nation’s second-ranked basketball player, committed to the Tigers, and now the program is suddenly in the running for 2 more top-10 players in the class.
Foster doesn’t have the same notoriety as Porter, who’s dating a former Disney Channel star. But Missouri’s coaches see a similar role for their centerpiece.
“They was just telling me that they got me, and a lot more pieces are going to come with you,” Foster said. “Everybody wants to know who their quarterback is.”
Now, Foster is ready to get to work.
SEC Country writers Chris Kirschner and Ben Wolk contributed to this story.