Recruiting Rewind: Georgia Tech-bound Antonio Foster talks about switching from Tennessee

 

Valdosta OL Antonio Foster committed early to Tennessee, but ended up signing with Georgia Tech (ValdostaFootball.com)

Valdosta OL Antonio Foster committed early to Tennessee, but ended up signing with Georgia Tech (Valdosta HS Football)

Before he signed with Georgia Tech last month, Valdosta offensive tackle Antonio Foster appeared destined to play in the SEC for Florida or Tennessee. Foster revealed that he attempted to commit to Florida last spring, but was told that all of the offensive line spots had already filled. He committed to Tennessee in July, but backed off the Volunteers when coach Phillip Fulmer left the program.

Foster spoke with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the path that led him to Georgia Tech:
Q: As you reflect on your decision to sign with Georgia Tech, how does it feel to be a Yellow Jacket?
A: “I feel really good. I’m ready for the 2009 season. My first day at Georgia Tech is June 10.”

Q: It looked like you were going to end up at Tennessee, but the situation there changed. Who actually finished second in the recruitment of Antonio Foster?
A: “Tennessee finished second. Coach Fulmer left and that my reason for going there in the first place.”

Q: At this point, coach Lane Kiffin arrives on the scene at Tennessee. After you de-committed to the Vols, did Kiffin make a major push to get you back in the fold?
A: “He sent two assistant coaches to come see me.”

Q: That’s it? Kiffin never came to Valdosta to visit you?
A: “No. I was disappointed that he didn’t.”

Q: So what kind of pitch did you hear from the assistants?
A: “They said a lot of things that made me think. They were like ‘you never fell out of love with Tennessee. You commit and it’s like you’re married. You’ve still got a love for Tennessee.’ It actually got to me.”

Q: At this point, you had already committed to Georgia Tech. Was there every any consideration to get back onboard with Tennessee?
“I stayed with Georgia Tech because that’s where my family is [in metro Atlanta]. And I felt like it was a good decision.”

Q: So what was your biggest regret during the recruiting process?
A: “I committed to Tennessee too early. I should have taken more visits.”

Q: What school or coach made the most creative pitch?
A: “It was at Tennessee when I went on the Vol walk. Eric Berry came by and shook my hand. There were a lot of fans there. When I got out on the field that day, I felt like I was in the NFL.”

Q: Did you maintain any secrets while you were being recruited?
A: “Florida was my first love. They offered me. I committed to Florida and had called them and they said it was too late. Everybody on the offensive line had already committed.”

Q: How did you react to that news?
A: “I was kind of distraught. They said I was their No. 1 recruit. They were sending me letters. They said if anybody de-committed in that area, I’d get their spot. But I knew nobody would de-commit from Florida. If they did, it was going to be a miracle. But everything has worked out for the best.”

15 comments Add your comment

Dawggone it

March 23rd, 2009
10:54 pm

What a stunner. Stephen Hill (not as good as Marlon Brown) wasn’t the only one CPJ stole from another school. However, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy than Lame Kitten.

chuck

March 23rd, 2009
11:30 pm

Kind of sounds like what Florida is telling Mack Brown. I wonder how many recruits Florida tells they are “#1 on the recruiting board.”

randall

March 24th, 2009
8:02 am

they told him he was their number one recruit…but didnt have a scholarship for him????? what a crock of…..

WePeeYellow2

March 24th, 2009
9:00 am

lol, had to settle for his third choice of colleges! oh yea this is a quality person….

Andy

March 24th, 2009
9:32 am

Kid is going to get an unbelievable education, will easily get a job in Atlanta if he wants it, and will be set up if he doesn’t make the NFL. Sounds like the guy’s got a head on his shoulders to me. How ironic that wepee questions that Foster is “a quality person”, when wepee’s own post shows definitively that wepee is base and mean spirited. Good luck to the kid. Looks like he has a very nice family!

HootieSnitch

March 24th, 2009
9:46 am

Shameful article. The writer should be ashamed. The whole objective was to bash Tennessee and nothing more.Maybe the guy will be great at Tech, but kids change schools all the time especially after a coaching change. Perhaps Kiffin wasn’t as impressed with him as Fulmer was. Perhaps Kiffin should have went after him himself. But you can’t be everything to everybody. Still this was a sad article.

tech

March 24th, 2009
10:35 am

we had stephen hill first! your puke a$% coach tried to take him.

[...] Antonio Foster — a former UT commitment — would like to have seen Lane Kiffin recruit him personally. Man, he sure would have helped. [...]

law dawg

March 24th, 2009
12:15 pm

no, “tech,” central florida had him first……….

JustCallMeChamp

March 24th, 2009
2:43 pm

Nothing against the kid, but it’s very very hard to believe Fla ever told him he was the #1 choice. Even the casual Gator fan who follows recruiting knew Xavier Nixon was at the top of the board from the very beginning as it was widely discussed on many forums down here. I understand the kids frustration though and sorry it didn’t work out here. I’m sure he will have a fine career at Tech and thats not a bad second choice! Much better than that other place he was considering!

BaseballVol13

March 24th, 2009
2:49 pm

As bad as we need O-Linemen, King Kiffen would have visited personally if he thought this kid was worth the time! Let him play at a second class ACC football school.

SlimG

March 24th, 2009
5:34 pm

Kiffin just says whatever will make the headlines. The kid is a good player so let him be a bee. Not every kid is a fit. He will love atlanta versus knoxville. At least our police won’t hassle the kid for a cold beer in his hand. Good luck.

Hmmmmm

March 29th, 2009
5:45 pm

Hey BaseballVol13, GT could wipe the field with your sorry SEC arse…….

Robert

March 30th, 2009
10:45 pm

Looks like another south Georgia recruit who has shunned Saint Richt (Show me the felons!) and Rodney Gardner for the greener pastures of Atlanta, Paul Johnson and Giff Smith. And I laugh at Tennessee. Lane Kiffin is the joke of college football.

Maddog

April 1st, 2009
11:59 am

Looks like Tech got a good one here. A couple of thoughts:

(1) Just like Antonio, I’m surprised Kiffin didn’t show up in person. The down side is that he may have pulled the bare chest routine. I think Antonio made the wise choice here.

(2) This illustrates that colleges are pursuing recruits to commit early, and that trend will not stop. Apparently he didn’t commit quick enough to Florida. At least that’s the public spin coming out of Gainesville. I’ve heard of more cases where someone is high on their board and, when the commit, are told the spots are all filled up.