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jcy1993225 6 months ago
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It got so bad that Reuben Foster considered giving up football altogether. Andrew Billings Bengals Jersey . The war of words was that painful, the emotional swings that severe.At first, it was the hometown Georgia fans that wanted a piece of the star prep linebacker after he committed to Alabama. Then he moved to Auburn, Ala., and flipped his commitment to Auburn, suddenly giving Alabama fans reason to hurl insults his way. And, of course, there had to be one last turn of events, so he decommitted and showed up to school on national signing day in a Nick Saban-esque straw hat and faxed his letter of intent to Tuscaloosa.So, yes, Fosters was a recruitment full of drama. But for the teenager himself, it was exhausting. Back in 2013, while he was still living in Auburn and preparing to enroll at Alabama, he opened up about the way it affected him. He didnt trust anyone and refused to leave the house. He said that he wanted to act childish and cuss people out for the way they talked to him. He couldnt believe how one fan said he hoped hed tear his ACL. But more than anything, he felt the need to apologize to everyone and anyone he could.It was a business decision, he explained.In signing with Alabama, Foster did what he thought was best for him and his daughter. But at the same time, there was no ignoring the circus hed created. He had painted the picture himself. It was right there, tattooed on his forearm: a big stylized AU. When he originally committed to Auburn, he dressed his daughter in an orange and blue cheerleader outfit and held her up to say where he (thought) he would go to school. To go back on all of that was a matter of throwing gas on an already burning rivalry. Remember, this wasnt long after Toomers Oaks were poisoned and the Iron Bowl was about hate far more than friendly competition.Nearly four years later, Fosters contentious recruitment still bubbles beneath the surface. Hes a senior about to play in his last Iron Bowl this Saturday and weve finally arrived at the final chapter of his story.* * *Initially, Foster thought he may have made a mistake.He always knew going to Alabama wasnt going to be easy, but nothing prepared him for this. The depth chart at inside linebacker was stacked against him with the likes of Trey DePriest, C.J. Mosley and Reggie Ragland already in camp. Instead, he would have his patience tested on special teams.Coaches saw Foster as talented yet undisciplined. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart said he relied too much on his instincts and kind of ran around and made plays. And while that was useful defending a kick return, it was a liability within the framework of the defense.Foster had been a star his whole life, but when he saw the field against Auburn as a freshman, he was essentially a bystander. He stood on the sideline when the famous Kick Six happened and Alabamas championship hopes were dashed.It took a toll on him not playing, he said, and he briefly considered transferring. Of the three teammates he planned on living with as a freshman -- Alvin Kamara, Dee Liner and Tyren Jones -- one left following the 2013 season and the others were gone a year later.I was a child as a freshman, Foster said. I didnt know any better.Fosters career would improve, but only incrementally. Although he was able to make his first career start as a sophomore in the season opener against West Virginia, he was quickly replaced when DePriest returned from a suspension. The hallmark moment of Fosters sophomore season came against LSU when he launched himself headlong into the chest of Leonard Fournette on a kickoff as time expired, sending the game into overtime and momentum into Alabamas favor for the eventual 20-13 win. Fournette would later call it the biggest hit Ive ever taken.But even then there was concern. The hit, while a spectacular piece of violence, lacked form. He exposed himself by leading with his helmet and for much of the early part of his career hed be plagued by injuries, including at least two concussions and several stingers.It was stressful at first, Foster said of dealing with the injuries and developing as a tackler, but I came along and had guys that patted me on the shoulder and told me it would be OK. I was down bad, but they brought me back up.As a junior last season, we finally saw the complete package from Foster. He won the starting job, appeared in every game and finished second on the team with 73 tackles. In a win against Auburn, he had a team-high six stops and in the playoff semifinal game he helped the defense pitch a shutout of Michigan State with four tackles and one pass breakup.In the lead-up to the national championship game against Clemson, Smart reflected on Fosters growth. The two had known one another since Foster was in the ninth grade and his decision to flip his commitment to Auburn hurt him. But when Foster reopened his recruitment, Smart was one of the first coaches through the door. Foster said that if Smart had gotten the Auburn job he was rumored to be in the running for, he would have signed with the Tigers.Reuben will always hold a special place in my heart, Smart said, with all hes been through as a child and done a great job developing. ... When you have a guy whos really talented and hes coachable, its kind of why we do this as coaches because you get to enjoy being around a kid whos grown up a lot.* * *Foster called out the defense, bent his knees slightly and eyed the USC backfield on first-and-10 early in the second quarter.Justin Davis took the handoff from Max Browne and veered to his left where a wide swath of empty green turf stretched out in front of him.But Foster shuffled, spun his hips and sprinted, running perpendicular with the length of the field. It was the perfect angle. Foster turned upfield, squared up Davis and threw a shoulder into his chest. It looked as if Foster had been shot out of a cannon, knocking Davis clear off his feet and throwing him back a few yards. All at once, AT&T Stadium groaned.It was only 3-0 at the time, but the message was sent loud and clear by Foster: Alabamas defense was on another level. The Tide would go on to win, 52-6.A couple of weeks later, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly had the gall to not duck out of bounds with Foster chasing him. So Foster threw his shoulder in Kelly so hard it made the entire Ole Miss sideline flinch and caused fellow linebacker Ryan Andersons jaw to drop.I was scared for [Kelly], Anderson said. I dont know where he came from. I was running and it was like, Bop! Like what was that? I should have known it was 10.Anderson added: Hes 100 miles per hour on every play. He plays at one speed, and thats scary.Defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson said of Foster, I dont know if he knows how to hit anyone soft.It has been that way all season. Foster leads the team with 75 tackles and you can count on at least one stop per game that makes you raise your eyebrows.Pro Football Focus called Foster the most complete linebacker in the nation. On Monday, he was named one of five finalists for the Butkus Award.A few days earlier, he reinjured his wrist and had to leave the field during the first quarter against Chattanooga. He could have easily sat out the game against a cupcake FCS opponent, but trainers taped his hand up and he was back on the sideline in no time. During the first play back on the field, Foster split two offensive linemen and had a tackle for loss, club hand and all.Hes a warrior, said safety Ronnie Harrison. Hes battling through a lot of stuff right now and just continues to come in every day and works. He doesnt complain.Hes always talking to us. He brings the energy every day in practice. Hes like the biggest leader on our defense.This Saturday afternoon, Foster will lead the defense one last time in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The opponent: Auburn.True to his word, Foster never got rid of the AU tattoo on his forearm. And if you want to find them, there are still pictures floating around with his daughter in a blue and orange cheerleaders uniform from the second of his verbal commitments. But after this weekend, Fosters time as a player in the Iron Bowl will be over.His name wont leave the rivalrys history -- his story is too colorful for that to happen -- but this game will effectively serve as his parting shot.Four years ago, he apologized for the way he spurned Auburn. He was hurt and felt like an underdog going to Alabama, he said.But even back then, in the midst of a painful situation, he was embracing what the rivalry would mean.The Iron Bowl is going to be crazy, he said before he made the move from Auburn to Tuscaloosa. Any time I make a tackle or step on the field or even get near something its going to be, Boo! I tell myself if I hear that it wont do anything to me, Ill laugh. You boo me, Ill give you something to boo about. Cordy Glenn Bengals Jersey . A lawyer for MLB, Matthew Menchel, confirmed Wednesday the league dropped its case against Biogenesis of America, its owner Anthony Bosch and several other individuals. The lawsuit had accused Biogenesis and Bosch of conspiring with players to violate their contracts by providing them with banned performance-enhancing substances. Jessie Bates III Bengals Jersey .7 million, one-year contract, a raise of $2.2 million. Wieters had asked for $8.75 million and the Orioles had offered $6. http://www.bengalsgear.com/authentic-sam-hubbard-jersey.html . Now, with Game 6 set for Fenway Park and an 8:07 p.m. ET first pitch, the Detroit Tigers face the unenviable task of having to beat the Boston Red Sox twice, on the road, to advance to the World Series. TORONTO -- Cleveland Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte is making his season debut against the Blue Jays on Sunday after being reinstated from the restricted list.Almonte was suspended in February for 80 games after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance. MLB said Almonte tested positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid generally used by veterinarians on horses.Almonte played 51 games for Cleveland last season, hitting .264 with five home runs and 20 RBI. He is starting in center field and batting eighth against Blue JJays left-hander J. Mark Walton Bengals Jersey. .A. Happ.Also Sunday, the Indians optioned left-hander Shawn Morimando to Triple-A Columbus and moved outfielder Michael Brantley (right shoulder) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.Third baseman Juan Uribe was scratched from Sundays starting lineup and replaced by Jose Ramirez. Uribe left Saturdays 9-6 loss after he was hit on the right hand by a pitch in the sixth inning. 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