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Alabama in the Pros

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan names Reuben Foster starter at linebacker

Stan Szeto - USA TODAY Sports

Let the Reuben Foster era begin. 

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan gave the defensive keys to a late, first-round draft pick as he announced earlier today that Reuben Foster will start at weakside linebacker. 

News came from Niners Nation that defensive coordinator Robert Saleh had Foster and Ray-Ray Armstrong splitting snaps at the position but Shanahan has stated Foster is the starter.  

He was moved up to first team, following injuries to Brock Coyle and Malcolm Smith in training camp. Foster made a huge play last week to open NFL preseason, as he recorded a pass breakup in the end zone. His night would end with two tackles to pair with the breakup, helping the 49ers get a 27-17 win over Kansas City. 

With him being selected in the first round, San Francisco was not choosing Foster simply for decoration. Should Ray-Ray Armstrong outperform him is a different story, but general manager John Lynch is high on Foster.

Hailing from Auburn, Ala., Foster was a five-star prospect when he signed in Alabama’s top-ranked 2013 recruiting class. During two seasons as a starter (2015-15), he collected 188 tackles – including 21 tackles for loss and six sacks.

Foster also turned in 11 pass breakups and 11 quarterback hurries. He earned the Dick Butkus Award heading into the 2016 postseason, and received honors as an All-Amercian and all-conference player.

Stephen M. Smith is the 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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