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Despite Pitt pressure, Foster won't reconsider Alabama commitment

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Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

If Robert Foster was going to change his commitment from Alabama to Pitt, Friday would have been the day.

Panthers assistant coaches Bobby Engram and Desmond Robinson visited Central Valley in a last-ditch effort to convince him to pick Pitt.

Then Foster attended the Mercury Award banquet at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, where the guest speakers included Pitt coach Paul Chryst and former Panthers coaches Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill, as well as Pitt's prized recruit, Tyler Boyd of Clairton.

Afterward, Foster affirmed he was sticking with the two-time defending BCS national champion Crimson Tide.

“There's a lot of people that say I'm going to decommit, but I'm real comfortable with my relationship with Alabama and coach (Nick) Saban, and I want to make a name for myself,” Foster said.

“I'm 100 percent sure I'm going to be going to the University of Alabama.”

Foster was visibly torn when he announced Dec. 21 that he would attend Alabama, picking the Tide over the Panthers.

But playing alongside several future teammates in the Under Armour All-America Game earlier this month in Orlando, Fla., convinced the top-five receiver prospect that he made the right choice.

“There was a lot of pressure because a lot of athletes decommitted at the game,” Foster said. “We formed a friendship while we were there. We executed well as a family and represented the college we're committed to.”

A few days later, he watched Alabama hammer Notre Dame to win the BCS national title and couldn't help but envision his future.

“It was very exciting — the college I committed to just won the national championship,” Foster said. “Hopefully I can be there again next year and help us win another crystal ball.”

Pitt coaches wanted to make sure they hadn't done anything wrong in their recruitment of Foster, as they are going to pursue Central Valley sophomore Jordan Whitehead.

Foster's father complained about how Pitt supporters reacted to his son's decision.

“A lot of negativity is coming out of Pittsburgh from the fans,” Robert Foster II said. “All you ever heard was how he'd be a great fit for Pitt. Now that he decides to take his talents elsewhere, you hear the negativity. Just be happy for him.”

Foster expected nothing less but promised to make his hometown proud.

“I'll always represent Pittsburgh,” Foster said, “no matter which college I go to.”

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