Local stars taking notice of D.J. Foster’s example

By now you have heard of the billboards the Arizona State football program put up over the summer for local football prospects to “Stay True” to ASU.

The one player represented on the billboard is ASU sophomore running back and former Saguaro star, D.J. Foster.

Foster grew up about 20 minutes from Sun Devil Stadium and was a big ASU fan. So for him to see himself pictured on a billboard put up by the team he grew up loving was almost an out-of-body experience.

“People in my family texted me, friends tweeted me and stuff, but actually seeing it myself, that was cool,” Foster told Pros2Preps.com. “It was definitely a moment. I mean, I felt very blessed and fortunate. I was definitely a little emotional seeing that people care and it’s definitely an honor to be up there.”

However, Foster’s billboard wasn’t what spring boarded local players to have the Sun Devil’s on their radar again. It was Foster’s first announcement of his commitment to the school. He chose to play for Todd Graham over offers from major programs which included California, USC and Oregon.

Current freshman, Chans Cox from Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop, Arizona, was one example of an Arizona player who had the choice of many big division I programs and decided to stay in-state.

“Just like D.J. Foster you know, he could have gone anywhere in the country,” Cox mentioned. “Seeing him go to Arizona State really opened my eyes as well. Then with Coach Graham coming in here with discipline and character as his main install, that just meant a whole lot from me coming from Pinetop, Arizona, Blue Ridge High School.”

The first player from Arizona to commit to ASU since the billboards went up was Chaparral senior wide receiver and defensive back Tyler Whiley. Despite the rivalry between Chaparral and Saguaro, Whiley still sites Foster as the guy who initially perked his interest with ASU.

“D.J. Foster was really the first one,” Whiley said after committing to ASU last month. “I am trying to follow his footsteps a little bit. So we will so who comes next in the following years.”

Foster has shown he is a humble guy after success throughout high school and after one season at ASU where he was named a freshman All-American. So if you ask Foster if he is leading the charge for Arizona’s best to think ASU, he tells you otherwise.

“If we are winning, that’s what will bring guys to come and stay,” Foster explained. “When our record’s out there and we show everybody that we are winning these games, that’s going to attract guys from no matter where your at especially in-state. I mean when you have a team 20 minutes down the road that’s winning games and having successful seasons, that going to keep them here in my opinion.”

As for the upcoming season, the Sun Devils have some big goals and could be presented with some special opportunities based on how they get through their tough road to begin the season. At the center of that, the impact play of Foster could dictate what ASU can go when playing against the likes of Wisconsin, Notre Dame and the best the Pac-12 has to offer.

The Sun Devils leader behind center is excited what Foster brings to their team this season and believes his best is yet to come.

“He hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he is capable of,” stated ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly. “He is so explosive, he’s getting faster when he’s getting bigger…he is going to shock the nation this year again.”

“It means I’ve got to work a lot harder,” Foster said in response to Kelly’s comments. “That’s what I take out of that. I’ve got to work harder and keep fighting keep getting better everyday.”