Alabama in the Pros

Former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster earns NFL Rookie of the Month

Sergio Estrada - USA TODAY Sports

Since returning from injury, Reuben Foster has shown general manager John Lynch and the San Francisco 49ers this month on why it was important for the team to draft him in the first round. 

He was a tackling machine in three games as he recorded 30 stops – including a season-high 14 tackles against the Arizona Cardinals in a 20-10 loss for the 49ers back on Nov. 5. Foster would follow that effort with 10 tackles versus the New York Giants in a 31-21 win for San Francisco. 

Despite seeing action in just five matchups, the 2016 Butkus Award winner and unanimous All-American is tied for sixth on the team in tackles (38) and has five tackles for loss. Foster was instrumental in the 49ers’ lone victory this season, and per Randal Liu (senior director of football communications for the National Football League), he was the Defensive Rookie of the Month for November.  

He’s the fifth player in 49ers history to earn a Rookie of the Month honor, joining Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Chris Borland and Andre Carter. During his time at the University of Alabama, Foster made a name for himself as a special teams stalwart and instinctive inside linebacker. 

A product of Auburn (Ala.) High School, Foster had a significant impact on the Crimson Tide’s defense in his senior year – totaling 115 tackles, 13 stops for loss, five sacks and eight quarterbacks in 2016 as he helped the team win a Southeastern Conference championship.  

He was a marquee contributor on three conference championship squads and a College Football Playoff national title team in 2015. Even when a rough situation occurred at NFL Scouting Combine in February, San Francisco still took a chance on getting Foster in the first round. 

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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