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Alabama in the Pros

Reuben Foster has Looked as Good as Advertised Since Return from Injury

Reuben Foster playing for 49ers
© Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

After racking up 115 total tackles, 13.0 tackles for a loss, and 5.0 sacks in his final season in Tuscaloosa, it was shocking to see him fall to the San Francisco 49ers with the 31st pick. Now, after the Week 1 injury that sidelined him, Reuben Foster has been back in action throughout the 49ers’ last three games and has shown exactly why he was expected to be such a hot commodity on Draft Night.

Though his first game back against Dallas was a less-than-stellar outing by the entire team, his two most recent performances show why he was exactly what the 49ers hoped he’d be. Against the Cardinals in Week 9, he led the team with a whopping 14 total tackles, but to make that even more impressive 13 of those 14 were solo tackles – an insane number for a rookie in just his third start. He followed that up with another big game in an upset of the New York Giants. He led the team in total tackles, again, with 10, adding one for a loss.

But what makes the former Tide linebacker so special goes beyond his numbers no matter how unreal they may become. He will always be one of the smartest players on the field at all times, and matches that perfectly with his athleticism and instincts. Foster, while at Alabama, proved to be one of the few linebackers capable of covering the field from side-to-side – a talent due largely to his unnatural speed. When you watch him play, there is no denying the versatility he brings to a team. That versatility has continued to be his calling card in the pros.

Though he may be a capable pass-defender, he has a special ‘knack’ against the run. Watch as he dissects the play in an instant and shoots through the gap to hit the running back in this play:

Watch as he shoots through the gap here on a 3rd-and-1 bunch play to stop the Cardinal’s drive short:

Again, he does the same thing on this play against one of the best in the game, Ezekiel Elliot:

His abilities are not limited to blitzing through gaps, either, as he shows off the gap-filling abilities he did so well at Alabama on the beginning of this video here:

With San Francisco’s record currently sitting at 1-9, they are still clearly searching for success. That makes them a perfect spot for ‘Ferrari Foster’ as they can afford to give him whatever rest he needs this year. Landing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots was a great start to their turnaround, and a potential rising star at linebacker will speed things up exponentially.

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