Alabama WR Calvin Ridley speaks on Robert Foster becoming ‘more of a leader’

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

High expectations were made for a number of players that signed in Alabama’s top-ranked 2013 recruiting class, including Reuben Foster, Tim Williams, Jonathan Allen and Eddie Jackson. The individual that probably had the most to prove was an explosive, five-star wide receiver from Monaca, Pa. 

Despite turning in 107 receptions for 1,860 yards with 26 touchdowns in his career at Central Valley High School, Robert Foster has yet to blossom into a marquee target for the Crimson Tide. After redshirting in 2013 and getting some action the following season, he started to emerge in 2015. The 6-foot-2, 191-pounder brought in 10 catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns, including his first score coming on a 22-yard grab versus Wisconsin.

A rotator cuff injury against Ole Miss would end his season, and despite a strong recovery, Tide fans saw very little of Foster in 2016. Whether it was having trouble buying into Nick Saban or disagreements between him and members of Alabama’s coaching staff, Foster appears to have regained a spring in his step. This was evident during the program’s spring game in April, as the redshirt senior snatched two passes for 115 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Not even an automobile incident from June 17 could dampen Foster’s spirit.

He had 27 stitches put into his back, but per fellow receiver Calvin Ridley, Foster is “fully healthy.”

“I am very excited for Rob next season,” Ridley said during Wednesday’s portion of Southeastern Conference Media Days. “He’s becoming more of a leader among the receiver group along with Cam Sims. He is going to have a great year. The injury at first didn’t look too good, but he’s fine now.”

As a natural competitor, Ridley said Foster returned to practice after recovering.

“He’s tough man,” he said. “Any time Rob gets knocked down, he bounces back.”

Behind two new offensive minds in Brian Daboll and Michael Locksley, Foster has a clean slate and is excited to finally have the season he’s been expecting since he enrolled.

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

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