Reuben Foster is a 6-foot-2, 245-pound man-child with instincts on the gridiron that are so exceptional you’d swear he intently studied the opposing team’s playbook during pregame warm-ups.
As the top linebacker in the Rivals100, Foster, a senior linebacker at Auburn (Auburn, Ala.), clears the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds, squats 530 pounds and throws up 20 reps of 225-pounds on the bench “fairly easily.”
“I throw that up like it ain’t nothing,” said Foster, an Auburn commit.
Still, to hear Foster tell it, the one thing that makes him stand out above the rest is the ferocious nature in which he delivers hits on the field.
“It’s all about the power for me,” said Foster, a preseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection. “When I’m on the field my goal is to be the alpha male. I want to be the dominant one. So I deliver blows out there to send a message."
Well, sort of.
Foster channels those emotions by viewing the opposition as “people who are looking to do me wrong.”
“I just pretend that they’re trying to take something from me or take something from my daughter, A'Ziya,” Foster said. “That gives me my power, and my power has given me everything. Like I said, I love to dominate people.”
Not all the time.
As a proponent of power hits, Foster actually likes the “rare” occasions when he turns up on the short end of a vicious blow.
“I know that sounds crazy,” Foster said. “But if you play football long enough you’re gonna get laid out. So when it happens to me I get excited. I hop up and run over to the guy and say ‘I like you!’ They don’t know how to react, but I am just a fan of that power.”
That’s in every aspect of the game.
Even in his pregame speech to his teammates, Foster said his primary goal is to “get them hype enough to tap into their power game.”
“I can see it in their eyes after I get them going,” Foster said. “It’s like they turn on the switch and it’s time to eat. They can’t wait to let that power out.”
Jason Jordan is a High School Sports reporter for USA TODAY. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY