Missouri set its sights on Sidney Lanier High dual-threat quarterback James Foster II from Montgomery, Ala., at the outset of the recruiting process for the 2018 class.
The Tigers got their man Wednesday when Foster committed in a post via Twitter.
“I would like to thank God for giving me this blessing and opportunity to be able to play the game I love dearly,” Foster said.
He then thanked the coaches and schools that recruited him, offered thanks to the people who’ve supported him and announced his commitment to Mizzou.
Foster (6-3, 210) was the Tigers’ top quarterback target in next year’s class and the hope is that he’ll serve as a rallying force in assembling the rest of the 2018 class, much as Bessemer (Ala.) City High linebacker Jamal Brooks was for the 2017 class.
He’s a consensus three-star prospect and ranked as high as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the country by ESPN, which pegs him No. 263 overall in its 2018 ESPN 300.
Rivals lists Foster as the No. 10 prospect in Alabama and the No. 12 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, while 247 Sports rates him No. 591 overall and No. 22 among dual-threat quarterbacks.
Scout ranks Foster — who also boasts offers from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Illinois, Arizona, Cincinnati, Illinois, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Purdue, among others — as the No. 48 quarterback in the country.
Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisville, South Mississippi, Mississippi State and NC State were listed with Missouri among his top eight in a Feb. 26 Twitter post.
Foster originally committed to Tar Heels as a high school sophomore, but he reopened his recruitment three months ago and Missouri zoomed into the lead.
Even when the Crimson Tide swooped in March 25 with an offer, Foster told al.com that the Tigers were the front-runner, citing the “great bond” he has with offensive coordinator Josh Heupel.
“He’s been recruiting me since tenth grade,” Foster told al.com in late March. “He stays in touch with me every day. I went up for a visit two weeks ago and the visit went great. They rolled out the red carpet for me.”
Foster has great speed and good size for the position. He’s also got a big arm and isn’t afraid to push the ball vertically down the field.
He shows touch on passes to all deep zones and is a shifty runner, who is adept at making throws on the run.
Foster doesn’t shy away from contact, hanging in the pocket and using his elusiveness to buy time, but he’s also willing to take on defenders down the field when he turns into a ball-carrier.
He’s played primarily in a quick-read shotgun, spread attack that shares similarities with Mizzou’s style under Heupel.
Foster becomes the second known commitment in the Tigers’ 2018 class, joining Jones County (Miss.) Junior College wide receiver Harry Ballard III.
Ballard, a graduate of McCluer North High in St. Louis, was a late addition to Mizzou’s 2016 recruiting class before landing at the two-year level to address academics.