Coaches Corner: Kirk Diego — Millikan HS

Reggie Foster was mad at his football coach for a couple of days heading into his senior season. Foster had been a two-way starter for Millikan High School in Long Beach, Calif., as a sophomore and junior, playing quarterback and defensive back. But when head coach Kirk Diego realized he really wouldn't have a backup quarterback in 2003, he told Foster the team couldn't afford to play him on defense and risk injury.

"He loves defense," Diego said. "He likes defense better. He was mad at me, but he understood."

Foster will bring that love for playing on the defensive side of the ball to Boulder, where he is expected to compete at one of the safety spots for the Buffs, beginning in the fall.

Foster had offers from Pac-10 schools Washington, Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon State, but verbally committed to play for Colorado shortly after visiting Boulder in late November. Foster reportedly also had strong interest from other Pac-10 schools early as well as Utah.

According to Diego, Colorado actually got in on Foster late, after the senior commented that he had always liked the Buffs. Diego said that CU coach Shawn Simms saw the comment and then showed interest in Foster, leading to his commitment.

Foster led the Millikan option attack last season, and Diego said the 5-11, 188-pounder "runs very well."

"He was our team leader and our best player," Diego said. "He's the best player to go through Millikan High School probably since Jason Bell who went to UCLA (1996) and is doing a little bit of time in the NFL (Houston)."

Foster accounted for nearly 1,400 yards on the season and found the end zone 23 times. But without Foster on defense, the team gave up 35 points a game, Diego said. Millikan ended a disappointing 4-6 on the year.

"He's a tremendous kid," Diego said. "He's well-liked by all of his teachers. All of the kids look up to him and respect him."

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