SCARLET SPOTLIGHT: ERIC FOSTER
DEFINITION OF THE CHOP
This is the first installment of Scarlet Spotlight, a new feature of the Scarlet Fever Blog about a key member of the Rutgers Football team. The first player under the Scarlet Spotlight is Rutgers’ 5th-Year Senior DT Eric Foster.
Eric Foster is the definition of Coach Greg Schiano's slogan- Keep Choppin'. Foster committed to Rutgers believing in the "Rutgers Dream" that Greg Schiano preached to his recruits just several years ago when that was practically all he could offer. Eric Foster came to Rutgers to leave his mark on the program and to get the Scarlet Knights the respect from across the nation they had never received before. Foster was an All-Dade County selection at middle linebacker during his senior season at Homestead High School in Homestead, Florida while registering 107 tackles and three sacks. He also played basketball at Homestead High, helping clinch the District 16-6A championship. Foster believed enough in Schiano and Rutgers and his dedication has paid out for both Foster and the program. As a true freshman, he practiced with the Defensive-line to help prepare him to endure the rigors of playing on the Defensive Line in the Big East Conference. Next season, as a redshirt freshman, Foster factored into Rutgers' defensive line towards the end of the season finishing with 22 tackles, 2 Tackles For Loss and 1.5 Sacks on the season. Eric came into the 2005 season ready to contribute and had a strong showing in the season opener against Illinois with 8 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Unfortunately for Rutgers, he never was given the chance to show his talent and contribute to the Scarlet Knights' first winning season since 1992. Eric sustained a season-ending knee injury in the early part of the Scarlet Knights second game against Villanova on September 10th. Yet, the injury could not slow down the Chop-Master, who rehabbed hard and persevered in order to return for his junior season better than ever. Foster's hard work led to a season in which he emerged as a defensive monster and the face of the Rutgers defense. He became a fan-favorite and played at a high-level all season starting all 13 games for the Scarlet Knights as a Co-Captain. Foster played a crucial role during Rutgers' magical 2006 campaign in which the Scarlet Knights started off 9-0 and won the first bowl game in Rutgers Football history. He re-emerged as one of the nation's top defensive linemen on one of the nation's top college football programs, finishing the season with 51 tackles, 6.0 sacks and a team-best 14 tackles-for-loss. Eric ranked among the nation's elite in sacks and tackles-for-loss and was recognized as a First-team All-America Selection by the Football Writers Association of America, First Team All-Big East Selection, SI.com Honorable Mention All-American and the Defensive Tackle of the Year by the New Jerset Sports Writers. He was also the recipient of the David Bender Trophy, given annually to the top defensive lineman at Rutgers. Eric entered the season as a preseason candidate for the Nagurski, Outland and Lott Trophies, some of the most prestigious awards in college football. The 6-2, 265 lb. Foster has progressed along with Rutgers as the two have chopped their way to national prominence that was just a dream 5 years ago when Foster made the commitment to Rutgers and Greg Schiano. Foster has certainly helped change the future of this program, as his name will forever be linked to Rutgers history.