Editor's note: This is the second in a series of 20 leading up to National Signing Day that features Top 100 football recruits who have yet to announce their college plans. We're breaking down their finalists and predicting where each will wind up.
Uncommitted: D.J. FosterHigh school: Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.)Position:
6-0, 185Tom Lemming's Top 100: No. 30Finalists (alphabetical):
Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, USCMore uncommitted players: Aziz Shittu
D.J. Foster's destination might come full circle because of a couple of coaching firings.
The dynamic running back from Saguaro appeared to be settled on Arizona State, the first place he took an official visit in early November, only to watch the Sun Devils implode down the stretch. Instead of Dennis Erickson getting a contract extension, he was given his walking papers.
The 6-foot, 185-pound record-breaking running back from Saguaro wavered and he started taking visits to other schools, most recently to USC on Jan. 13.
Arizona State, however, just might be the front runner again because John Sanders, his head coach at Saguaro, was fired despite a 62-7 record after receiving negative attention for sitting his starters out in the regular season finale against rival Chaparral. Sanders is reportedly in line to be hired by new Arizona State coach Todd Graham.
It is not known whether he will join the staff, if it comes to fruition, as a position coach or in an administrative role.
Either way it could foster his star running back's path to Tempe.
"The Trojans are making a late run, and the opportunity to compete for a national championship as a true freshman must be enticing," said East Valley Tribune writer Kyle Odegard. "But Foster has always been a fan of hometown Arizona State and that's probably where he ends up."
It would be a major coup for Graham in his first recruiting class since coming over from Pitt.
Foster is the kind of athlete that Erickson and those who preceded him have missed out on for years. USC, Oregon and other Pac-12 powers have swooped in and taken Arizona's best to their programs.
Foster, a MaxPreps All-American
, finished the season with 234 carries for 3,058 yards and scored 60 total touchdowns on the year, a state single-season record
. He also set state marks for rushing yards (508) in a game, touchdowns in a game (10)
, touchdowns in a career, points in a career and points in a season.
Some question the quality of the opponents that Foster compiled the impressive numbers against as Saguaro played in Division III, but he proved his worth in the 2012 Semper Fidelis All-American Game in Phoenix.
"Everything worked out really good," Foster told the East Valley Tribune. "I was really happy to be a part of this, especially with it being the first one ever. I can say 20 years from now I was a part of the first one, and we won."
The question now is who will win the battle to gain Foster's signature when it comes to signing his letter of intent.
With just a few weeks before the official signing date, here are the destinations Foster is considering and where we think he'll end up.Oregon (no shot):
The Ducks have shown some interest and he took an official visit there in October. His ability seems to match with their style, but most feel Foster has cooled on heading to Eugene.Cal (long shot):
A few Arizona athletes have made their way to Cal in recent years and he visited in December, but the Bears are a similar program to ASU so he might as well stay close to home.USC (fair possibility):
Former teammate Cyrus Hobbi is already on campus after winning a state title with Foster in 2010. If winning right away and unbelievable locale are high on his wish list, it might be enough to sway Foster in the final month.Arizona State (book it):
Let's face it, if the Sun Devils didn't take a nose dive at the end of the year Foster would have already made a verbal commitment. While the coaching search was almost as sad as the season's end, Graham brings toughness and discipline to the program. Sanders would fit in perfectly and so will Foster.Jason P. Skoda, a former Arizona Republic and current Ahwatukee Foothill News staff writer, is a 15-year sports writing veteran. Contact him at email@example.com or 480-272-2449.