We're in yer base, stealin' your legacy four star croots.
So proud to finally be a gopher. 〽️— Sean Foster (@foster__75) April 13, 2015
Mundelein (IL) Carmel Catholic HS junior offensive linemen Sean Foster verbally committed to Minnesota this afternoon, becoming the second OL prospect to commit in as many days and the first out-of-state recruit. Sean is a 4 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, picking Minnesota over nearly two dozen other listed offers including Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Duke, Illinois, Cal, Indiana, Maryland, Kentucky and more. Foster is rated as the #3 prospect in Illinois per the Industry Composite, the 25th rated tackle and 252nd rated prospect for 2016 overall. Oh, and did I mention that his dad played for Iowa? Because his dad played for Iowa.
Foster with 247Sports' Steve Wilfong on his commitment:
"The family feel and how the coaches react with the players," Foster said of what sealed it. He visited the first weekend of April. "They have the best coaching staff and one of the best education programs I have ever seen. They made me feel at home right when I got up there and it's going to be fun being a Gopher for the next four years."
Sean gushing over his recent visit to Dinkytown with Kyle Goblirsch ($):
"Unreal, the weekend visit was unbelievable," Foster told our 247Sports team. "I got to see everything and I loved all of it. We got to see everything on campus on a tour. We got to see the entire campus. The facilities, everything, they were awesome," he said." I sat in on the line meetings and had one on one meetings with both Coach Kill and Limegrover. They want me to come up there and be a Gopher," Foster said of his meeting with both coaches. "They are very, very interested in everything I do both on and off the field, which feels great to hear."
ESPNU evaluation ($):
Foster is a tall, long-framed lineman who uses his body and long arms to block defenders. Flashes ability to deliver good pop and generate some initial movement. Length is an asset and flashes some ability to stay in front of rushers once locked on.
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**
** The section title is a bit. It's intentionally facetious comment on how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.
Weight: 270-285 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: Hahaha linemen don't need to run fast in a straight line
Big 4 Ratings:
Foster is also a member of the Rivals250, the Scout 300 and the ESPNU 300.
Foster's height, build. feet and athleticism are reminiscent of Jonah Pirsig when he was a prospect back in the 2012 class. Like Jonah, Sean can have some issues coming off the snap too high which is not atypical of taller OT recruits. However, Sean does a great job of just erasing defenders once he engages in the block and has a terrific finishing attitude.
2016 Minnesota Commitments
Carter Coughlin Pledges to Minnesota
Jerry Kill and Mike Sherels just won their biggest recruiting battle to date with the commitment of a legacy four star linebacker.
2016 Minnesota Commitments
Foster is yet another massive tackle prospect with toughness that plays with an edge in the run game. By now, the archetype of what a Matt Limegrover Minnesota OL recruit looks like is well established: big, nasty, good knee bend and quick feet. Oh, and they all love to run block, which he'll do a lot.
Sean plays with a wide base and can generate great drive off the ball when he fires out with a flat back. He plays to the whistle and does a great job of walling off defenders almost at will, which will come in handy because Minnesota tackles are often asked to execute kick-out blocks within an inside zone run scheme. I see Foster as a tackle at the next level, probably a right tackle but he has the feet and length to develop into a blind-side protector.
Impact on Other Prospects?
There is a lot to digest here. #1, the sweet taste of schadenfreude that comes with stealing a legacy four star recruit away from your rival.
Carter Coughlin's commitment may have been the most important in kicking off the class of 2016 properly, but Foster's may do more to keep the momentum rolling. Here's a top 200-300 player and one of the best prospects in the Midwest who opted for Minnesota over waiting for the legacy offer that never arrived (which, if you consult Iowa fans through their cloud of sadness, they see this as a major misstep from Kirk Ferentz). With their second 4* prospect in the fold, the Gophers are currently sitting at #25 in the 247 Team Rankings and 4th in the Big Ten. Despite this staff's insistence they pay no attention to star ratings, recruits do; the prospect of joining a class with early momentum is important for the optics of both fans and potential other recruits, who like to play with other good players.
Foster is also a bit of a canary in the coal-mine for Midwest offensive line prospects. He could have waited on an Iowa offer, or one from Wisconsin, versus choosing from the nearly 20 offers he held before the spring evaluation period began. Instead, he opted to play for the Gophers, a team that everyone knows will run the ball as a major program philosophy. Minnesota have established themselves for a style of play, one that is resonating with highly recruited regional offensive linemen. The Gophers have always recruited offensive linemen well under Kill, and they appear to be improving on the caliber of prospects they can land.
More holistically, the impact of the last two seasons and efforts to improve facilities is finally becoming visible. Playing for the Big Ten Coach of the Year, a program that's set to build a new football-specific development center, with a staff that simply knows how to develop football players, graduate them and ultimately put them in position to move on to The League is perhaps getting this staff in the living room of prospects they wouldn't have been able to three years ago. Momentum is rolling for the 2016 class, and it's a continuation of the great strides the program has made under Kill.