Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster has turned his controversial Auburn tattoo into a tribute for a murdered relative.
Foster, a five-star recruit, who was committed to Auburn and got an Auburn tattoo on his right arm, abruptly changed his commitment to Alabama before signing day and caught a rash of grief over his choice of tattoo.
Instead of having the marking of his rival removed, Foster decided to honor his cousin, former Auburn player Ladarious Phillips, who was shot and ultimately died after an incident at an off-campus apartment near the Auburn campus last June.
Foster added Phillips’ name to his arm and a shadowy figure walking up a staircase that extends to Foster’s shoulder.
The tattoo has come to symbolize something more meaningful than football: family. Foster's cousin, former Auburn fullback Ladarious Phillips, was shot and killed a month after Foster flipped his commitment from the Tide to the Tigers. The two lived near one another in Roanoke, Ala., before Foster moved to Georgia and then Auburn. They dreamed of playing together.
"I can remember like yesterday we lived by each other before we even thought about playing football," Foster said. "We're family. I'd borrow his Auburn shorts -- I'm wearing them now."
Foster did want to note that he does have a script “A” on his left hand and that he plans to get a larger Alabama tattoo on his left bicep.
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