When top recruit Reuben Foster left LaGrange (Ga.) Troup High for Auburn (Ala.) High in spring 2012, his transfer sent shockwaves through the Southeast, both because of his existing commitment to Alabama and the fact that it seemed as if he was waving goodbye to his longtime teammates and friends with a sudden shift to another state.
As it turns out, Foster didn't have to wait long to see his former teammates again at all, with Auburn deciding to put itself up against Troup during a preseason warmup scrimmage.
By game's end, Auburn earned a 36-7 victory which at least one news outlet said belied the contest's competitive nature.
The scrimmage's tough-nosed nature was perhaps most evident when Auburn used Foster as a running back on a fourth-and-short play. Troup's defensive line held against the powerful linebacker's push, forcing a turnover and earning some small spate of revenge against their former teammate for his departure.
The game clearly brought on mixed emotions for Foster, who has switched his college commitment to Auburn since enrolling at Auburn High. Still, the nation's No. 2 overall prospect told Rivals.com affiliate AuburnSports that the game provided a turning point in his career, with "no turning back" on his future in Alabama football and the Auburn community in both the prep and collegiate ranks now that his Auburn High Tigers career is underway.
"It feels great. Knowing everybody supports me, fans support me, seeing fans in the stands yelling 'War Eagle' at Auburn High," Foster told AuburnSports. "There's a little pressure off me so far, I love it though.
"They say I'm going to switch back, but I got that tattoo to say I'm not. Plus I got it for my cousin [former Auburn fullback] Ladarious Phillips who died. There's no turning back."
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