- Angleton head coach Ryan Roark first noticed five-star safety B.J. Foster as a sixth grader.
- Foster made his first varsity contribution as a freshman with an interception in a bi-district playoff game.
- Durability is the only knock on the five-star safety prospect with offers from nearly every major program in the country.
Angleton High School head football coach, Ryan Roark, began a tradition when he took the job six football seasons ago. At least a few times a year, Roark makes his way to Pop Warner fields near the administration buildings. It gives him a chance to be seen by future players and the community. It also allowed him a chance to watch his next crop of stars.
“The first spring I got here, I go over to those fields to watch some practices and it didn’t take me long to notice a sixth grader playing running back and defensive back,” Roark recalls. “He moved different than the other players. He was so athletic and it was easy to tell there was a lot of God-given ability there.”
Roark is recalling the first time he remembers watching now five-star recruit B.J. Foster. The two-way star for Angleton is now entering his senior year as one of the most wanted recruits in the entire nation. Foster ranks No. 2 in the Fabulous 55 and is the No. 1 ranked safety in the 2018 class, per 247Sports Composite.
“He’s one of the top five athletes I’ve coached in the last 28 years. He’s one of those kids with a high football IQ. We only need to tell him something once and then he picks up on it right away,” Roark said. “His natural instincts and athletic ability are up there with any players I’ve coached and the only ones I’d say are close to him over the last three decades are in the NFL.”
That’s not to say Foster is without something to prove as a senior. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound prospect missed five games as a sophomore and the last seven games of his junior season after hurting his ACL. Foster is still recovering from surgery, which is why he hasn’t competed in camps like The Opening and Under Armour All-America Camp Series.
“He’ll need to prove his durability. There isn’t any doubt about his talent. Just look at his offer list and you know the colleges understand his talent,” Roark said. “Durability is his concern. Those talents only help a football team win if the player is on the field.”
The first time Foster was on a varsity football field was late in his freshman year. After spending much of his ninth-grade year playing with his peers, Foster was called up for a bi-district game against Texas City in 2014.
“I don’t think he was too happy not playing varsity his whole freshman year. He probably believed he deserved to be on varsity the whole time, and maybe he was right,” Roark said. “We put him out there against Texas City and he intercepts the first pass thrown by going three and a half feet into the air. We knew he was special.”
With talent comes pressure. All the elite programs and coaches are chasing Foster. Texas and Tom Herman are chief among that group. Foster visited Austin for Texas’ junior day and will return Saturday to watch the Longhorns scrimmage. Herman’s staff wished Foster a Happy Birthday earlier in the month by posting it on the video screen at DKR Memorial Stadium.
“I know B.J. is excited about the recruiting process and he’s interested in Texas. He’s getting a lot of interest and he’s staying grounded with it,” Roark said. “He had to learn how to handle adversity with those injuries and he did a great job remaining a good teammate while he was injured. His parents do a great job and this program doesn’t allow for prima donnas at Angleton High School. We’re not going to place him on a pedestal here and he knows it.”
Angleton holds a tradition of producing Longhorns and Foster is well aware he could be next.
“Where I come from, it’s a big deal what Quandre Diggs and his brother have done and I think about it a lot, being the next in that line. It’s a cool deal to keep that tradition alive but I can’t let it impact my decision too much,” Foster said. “If I go to Texas, it needs to be because it is the best place for me.”
Foster plans to visit Ohio State soon and has no timetable on when he’ll make a college decisioin.