Saguaro’s Foster a feather in ASU’s recruiting cap

Jan 27, 2012, 8:37 PM | Updated: Jan 28, 2012, 5:43 pm

SCOTTSDALE — It’s been a while since positive news has
rained down on Arizona State football, so forgive me if I
was a little pessimistic when I stepped foot on the campus
of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale on Friday morning.

D.J. Foster, the Sabercats’ do-everything star and one of
the top recruits in the state of Arizona, was to announce
where he’d play his college football. Foster had been
offered scholarships by everyone who’s anyone in the
country, but had narrowed his choices to California, USC
and Arizona State.

With his former coach John Sanders and his cousin at his
side and a
picture of his late older sister on the table to his
right, Foster talked about how quickly his time at Saguaro
had flown by. He fought off the
urge to use the phrase “I’m taking my talents to…” and
reached under the table to grab a cap to signify where
he’d be playing.

“I’m going to be staying home and I’m going to be an
Arizona State Sun Devil,” Foster announced to a round of
uproarious applause from family members, friends,
teammates and fellow students.

And with that, you could almost hear the collective sighs
of relief from Sun Devil nation, a group that has seen
their beloved program be dragged through the mud on a
national basis. Finally something positive to build on
for the beleaguered program.

Foster is a huge get for head coach Todd Graham and his
staff. Graham hasn’t been shy about discussing the
importance of in-state recruiting, and landing Foster,
ranked as the 21st-best athlete in the nation in this
year’s class shows he’s not messing around. Foster is the
highest-rated in-state recruit to pick ASU since probaby
Zack Miller of Desert Vista High School committed to play
for coach Dirk Koetter in 2004.

ASU landing Foster is a testament to just how hard this
program worked in its own backyard under a time crunch.

“I was ready to commit months ago,” Foster said. “Then I
took a step back and opened my options and looked at some
other schools.

“But then the new staff came in and I got a really good
vibe from them. Coach Graham, I like him a lot. He’s a
God-first person, and I really like that.”

Foster posted eye-popping numbers during his senior season
for the Division III state champions, running for 3,058
yards and 54 touchdowns while averaging over 13 yards per
carry. In one game against Sunrise Mountain, Foster piled
up 508 yards and ten touchdowns.

And he’s versatile too. Foster also starred as a
defensive back and returned punts and kicks.

Graham has been talking about his high-octane
philosophy since he stepped foot on campus in mid-
December. With Foster in the fold five days before
National Letter of Intent Day, the first-year head coach
will have a higher-grade fuel to work with come September.

Photo courtesy of Katy Ruben Photography

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Saguaro’s Foster a feather in ASU’s recruiting cap