Clemson burgeoning recruiting efforts added yet another All-American late Monday when North Carolina defensive end Justin Foster, a U.S. Army All-American Bowl athlete, announced his commitment to play for the Tigers.
Foster, a four-star rated prospect for Crest High in Shelby, N.C., chose the Tigers ahead of scholarship offers from the likes of, well, almost everyone. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee … you name it. If it’s a top college football program, it was probably interested in adding Foster to its roster.
In the end, Foster picked Clemson over fellow finalists Georgia and Tennessee in part because of the sheer persistence of coach Dabo Swinney and his recruiting staff.
“Clemson kept staying on me the whole time,” Foster told 247 Sports. “They stuck with me the whole process and stayed on me. … They hit me up every day trying to get me to call them. They were constantly after me.”
Swinney was apparently surprised that the strategy worked, or at least that it worked so soon. Clemson has a policy that committed athletes are not allowed to visit other campuses, so Foster’s decision essentially took him off the market in a very firm way, something which the Clemson coaches were surprised by, in a pleasant way of course.
After all, it’s not every day that a program adds the top player in North Carolina and a game-changing rusher who has already racked up 41 tackles and two sacks in just five games as a senior.
“Coach Swinney was surprised when I told him,” Foster told 247 Sports. “He didn’t know it was coming. They have a policy that if you commit you can’t visit other schools and I was going to visit other places but decided the time was right and I wouldn’t be visiting anywhere else. … Coach Swinney said I could do a number of things in their defense. I’m really open to playing anywhere.”
Open to playing anywhere, provided it takes place in Clemson, S.C., of course.