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January 28, 2013When the news broke late Sunday evening, it sent shockwaves throughout recruiting circles all over the country, from sunny San Diego on the West Coast, to Auburn and Tuscaloosa, to Athens (Ga.) and the deepest reaches of SEC country:
Five-star 2013 prospect Reuben Foster -- the No. 1 inside linebacker and 13th-ranked player in his class -- will be taking an official visit to San Diego State this week.
Wait... what? This close to National Signing Day?
Over the last two weeks, SDSU assistant coaches Tony White and LeCharls McDaniel held in-home visits with Foster, three-star offensive tackle Maurice Swain and two-star wide receiver Christian Cumberlander -- who are all good friends and are extremely close -- and now Foster and Swain will fly to San Diego on Tuesday for mid-week official visits.
"It definitely speaks volumes (about SDSU) because everybody is talking about it," said TideSports.com senior recruiting analyst Andrew Bone. "Everybody woke up this morning with San Diego State on their minds because Reuben Foster is visiting out there."
But does a school from the Mountain West really have a shot at stealing one of the SEC's most-coveted recruits right out of its own backyard?
"I think it's a trip for him to kind of get away from everything right now," Bone said. "Reuben's a guy that's got so much pressure on him, especially from the SEC schools like Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. Those have really been the three main schools honestly in the last two years that have really been the main ones recruiting him and he's been interested in. He's taken visits to Alabama and Georgia already and he's visiting Auburn this weekend.
"At the end of the day, I think he's going to stay in the SEC. I think it's just a trip for him to get out there and kind of get his mind away from the schools in the SEC and take a visit with his friends. But I do think he probably ends up playing in the state of Alabama. I know he's interested in Georgia and visited there this weekend but I think he ends up deciding between Auburn and Alabama, giving Auburn the edge right now."
When Foster steps foot on campus this week, he'll be the highest-rated recruit to officially visit San Diego State in recent memory, perhaps ever. Regardless of if Foster is seriously considering the Aztecs or if it's just a free vacation to "America's Finest City" with a friend, the fact that a prospect of Foster's caliber decided to use one of his five official visits to SDSU may have an impact on future high-profile recruits when they decide which schools to visit.
"I think it will definitely help them out with getting big-name recruits out there in the future, at least coming out there for visits," Bone said. "People will say, 'Well Reuben Foster's visiting out there, it must be something good out there, so why don't I take a visit out there instead of maybe visiting a Pac-12 school or somewhere else?'"