Foster explains difficult decision

Robert Foster

It wasn't easy for Robert Foster to announce his intent to leave his home town to play for Alabama at the next level, and the five-star and his coach shed some light as to why it was so tough for the wide receiver.

Robert Foster lives a short drive away from the campus at Pittsburgh. He has been familiar with the program throughout his football life, and he had the entire Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley community on his back on Friday when he was all-but expected to announce his commitment to Pitt.

Instead, after many tough and emotional moments at the microphone for the emotional five-star, Foster selected his other finalist - Alabama.

The semi-stunning news was hard to announce, Foster admitted. But it was even harder to settle on beforehand.

"It was a difficult choice," repeated Central Valley Head Coach Mark Lyons. "He touches a lot of people in different ways, he's not just a football player.

"He probably changed his mind two or three times this morning."

The decision to select Alabama over Pitt wasn't a spur of the moment selection, despite the late wavering exhibited.

"It wasn't just one visit," Lyons added. "For the last year and a half, we've done diligent work to let him see both places. He's had great dialogue with both coaching staffs, both universities.

"This was nothing he did just overnight. He wanted to process this thoroughly. He knew he was disappointing people, that makes it tough."

One person campaigning for Foster to consider staying home was his mother. Sporting a Pittsburgh sweatshirt at the announcement, it may have been toughest for the No.5 wideout in America to let his top fan know of his commitment. But thankful he is of his mother's teachings in what helped shape his status as a football player as well as a person.

"My work ethic came from my mother," he said. "My mom has been through a lot of things. She struggled, she raised four kids for a few years. She's my role model."

Foster, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound play-maker that also played running back and defensive back for the Warriors, was so stunned by his own choice that he hadn't informed either coaching staff prior to Friday's announcement at the school cafeteria.

"I haven't called them yet…" he admitted with a laugh after gathering himself.

Several media members let Foster know that both staffs likely already knew.

In terms of his prospects at UA, a school coming off of a national championship while seeking a third in four years, the talented player knows his work is cut out for him.

"It means a lot, but the whole thing is that I'm there for a reason," said Foster. "Hopefully I can be a part of that."

"I'm going to have to work. That's what got me here in the first place. I have to work hard and try to give my all."

The next order of business was to get on the phone with both coaching staffs, something Foster was worried about all along, according to his coach.

Said Lyons, "That's the one thing he kept telling me he was worried about, is how he was going to explain it to the other school that he did not select. I told him ‘They'll understand, they've been told 'no' before.'"

Foster's "yes" to Alabama makes him the program's 20th commitment in the class of 2013. He is the fifth five-star to verbally pledge to the Crimson Tide in this cycle.

The quotes in this story and following video were obtained by PantherDigest.com's Tony Greco, who was on the scene at Central Valley representing Scout.com.

*Watch the announcement below*

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