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Alabama in the Pros

San Francisco GM ‘fired up’ to have former Tide linebacker Reuben Foster

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

He’s about to make 30 teams kick themselves for not taking him early on.

After a long and agonizing wait on Thursday in Philadelphia, former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster would hear his name called at pick No. 31 by the San Francisco 49ers. A five-star recruit in high school and tackling machine with the Crimson Tide, Foster was projected as a top-10 value and the No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in this year’s class.

Regardless of all the issues throughout the draft process, the 2016 Butkus Award winner totaled a team-high 115 tackles – including 13 for loss and five sacks through 15 games a season ago. He enters the National Football League with much to prove, and 49ers’ general manager John Lynch is happy to have him.

Prior to being a front office man, Lynch was a premiere defensive player.

As a third round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1993, he started his career at safety.

Although Lynch would play 16 seasons in Tampa Bay, Denver and New England, the prized mark in his career came during the 2002 season – where he aided the Buccaneers to a 48-21 victory over Oakland in winning Super Bowl 37. Lynch totaled 64 tackles and three interceptions.

In Tampa Bay, Lynch played with a fierce linebacker in Derrick Brooks and a sack specialist in Warren Sapp.

He hopes to get the same production from Foster and ex-Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. For Carson Palmer, Jared Goff and Russell Wilson, all three plus the running backs in Arizona, Seattle and Los Angeles better get use to avoiding Foster as he looks to inflict pain upon the NFC West.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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