Patience and perseverance are two major traits that any good college football recruiter possesses, and in the case of the Georgia Bulldogs, their collective persistence with 5-star inside linebacker Reuben Foster looks like it could help their chances of landing his commitment.
Foster's recruitment has been one of the more interesting recruiting stories to follow in the 2013 class. He first committed to Alabama, flipped to Auburn, got an Auburn tattoo and then decommitted from the Tigers.
His 247Sports interest list now features Georgia and Auburn as the top two, followed by Alabama, Washington, LSU and Tennessee. There was a time when Georgia seemed like the hands-down leader, but then Auburn reconnected with the elite recruit and the Tigers found themselves back in the race. Even Washington has made a strong push as of late, and despite the distance, the Huskies should still be considered a major factor in the equation for Foster's commitment.
It really has been somewhat of a perplexing situation with new updates and quotes seemingly coming out every other day. Nobody really knows for sure where Foster will end up, and his thought process seems to be the same, at least according to this quote via Kipp Adams of ESPN.com:
“I think I could make a big impact at Georgia or Auburn,” Foster said. “But knowledge-wise, I think I could get the best out of it at Alabama or Georgia, because of Nick Saban and Mark Richt. Alabama has the best reputation of getting people to the next level, but I could get on the field earlier at Auburn or Georgia. I love so many schools that have told me what I want to hear, and they know what I want to hear, so it is confusing. This is why ... I honestly do not know where I am going to go, but I know it will be wild.”
It's rather obvious that Foster is nowhere near making up his mind.
Let's go back to those two words, though: patience and perseverance.
As is the case with many long recruitments, the school that can make the longest-lasting impression with a recruit usually finds itself in a great position to land said recruit. Any program can make a stellar pitch once or look really interested for a select amount of time, but it's the great programs that develop a consistent method on the recruiting trail—and they are constantly letting a recruit know about their interest.
After all, choosing a school is much more than a football decision. A recruit is basically choosing the people he wants to surround himself with for the next four to five years of his life. It's a long-term relationship that will impact the player for years after he leaves the school.
If a program can't show long-term dedication on the recruiting trail, how can a recruit commit to forming a long-term relationship with said program?
In recruiting, it's not who speaks the loudest, but who speaks the most consistently.
According to Foster's quotes via Adams' report, that program has been Georgia:
“I do not get it with Georgia,” Foster said. “I committed to Alabama last year, and they said they were not giving up on me. Then I decommitted and they thought they had a chance, and then I committed to Auburn. Once again, they said they were not giving up on me. They stayed on me heavy this entire time, then when I decommitted from Auburn, they said they were coming for me. They were there at the school the day I decommitted, and they said they were sorry I had to go through all of that twice, but they were just giving me goodwill that day and that was great to have. I could tell they were happy when that happened though.”
Foster likened Georgia’s pursuit of his commitment to that of one of the oldest forms of survival known to man.
“It is like they have been fishing, and they have been trying to catch this big ole fish, this catfish, and they have not caught it yet, but they said they are going to catch it,” Foster said. “I have faith in them, and they have not given up or shown any weaknesses. They have stayed strong.”
After reading these quotes, it's hard not to believe that Georgia could eventually get the edge for the 5-star linebacker.
The Bulldogs have been persistent throughout the process, and it's obviously made a big impact on Foster. According to Adam's report, Georgia also talked to him about filling the role that Jarvis Jones did in their defense, so it's rather apparent that Richt and the Bulldogs are starting to put on the proverbial full-court press.
The last push before national signing day is often the most important one, but if Georgia does land Foster's commitment, it won't be because of what they do in the next few weeks.
If Foster commits to the Bulldogs, it will be because of the consistency that they displayed on the recruiting trail.