Peoria Richwoods running back Kendrick Foster recently attended the Proving Ground National Combine, an invite-only event held in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a televised, one-day event for 300 juniors. Foster explained his day.
"We got there real early, ran the 40-yard dash, and had a fast man competition at the end to see who had the top 40's. I got second in that with 4.45. After that, we did position drills for the running backs, some cone drills, and ran some routes for about an hour. Then, we did one-on-one with the linebackers."
Foster went up against many other highly-touted prospects and felt he held his own.
"I thought it went really well. I thought I looked really good with my speed and my athleticism as a running back. I also thought it was good to get more exposure."
The 5'-'8", 185 pounder brings many positive attributes to the table.
"My low center of gravity is one of my strengths. Also my vision, and I am an all-around back--I can do power, I'm elusive and fast. Half of my yardage came on yards after contact, so I'm not easy to bring down. I would compare myself to a Ray Rice or (Maurice) Jones-Drew."
He admits there are a couple aspects of his game he can improve.
"What I need to sharpen up are my pass routes. Our school doesn't pass a lot; we're just run, run, run. So I probably need to work on my catching and routes and just getting better at everything, even the things I'm good at."
With much help from Foster, Richwoods achieved one of its most successful seasons.
"We did good. We made it to the state finals and got runner-up. We didn't get first, but we finally made it to state for the first time since 1988. It was a good accomplishment for the school and community."
Foster deserved the accolades he received from his junior campaign.
"I showed a lot of improvement from last year. I made All-State, All-Area, All-Conference, and got invited to the All-American camp here in Arizona. I averaged 8.5 yards per game on 300 attempts. I rushed for over 2,400 yards and 34 touchdowns."
A season like that can be hard to repeat, but Foster has set lofty goals for his final high school season.
"Next season, I want to win state. I just want to have fun playing the game of football. For myself, I want to get more recognition. People don't think football is big in Illinois, so I don't get respect like Arizona or Texas people. Hopefully, I will earn respect and get to play in one of the All-American games."
Foster has visited the Illinois campus on several occasions. He shares high praise for the university and football program.
"When I went there for games against Arizona State and Michigan, I really liked the atmosphere of the game. The fans were all into the game. I like the variety of players they have there, and it's my home state. And I like the education there.
"They draft a lot of running backs to the NFL, so they're usually good at running the ball. I like what I see when I watch."
Illinois, Illinois State, UCLA, Wisconsin, Iowa, Vanderbilt, and Northwestern are recruiting Foster. He holds an offer from ISU and expects to receive one from Illinois. When choosing a college, what will Foster look for?
"First of, I will look at the educational part of it. Does it fit my major? Then, does it fit my running style? Does it fit me? I'm not just going somewhere for the big name, just a place I can feel comfortable at."
Foster hopes to visit other colleges in the near future.
"I'm going to try to visit Arizona State and UCLA. And I may try to visit Wisconsin when I get back in town."