Earning one's trust is vital in college recruiting.
For the University of Missouri coaching staff, believing in one high school prospect, remaining loyal during adversity, ended up earning more than just one Texas High School football player's respect, it earned the Tigers his commitment.
North Crowley's Marvin Foster was coming off a major knee injury last spring. He had several schools knocking on his door prior to the injury, one school and coach stood by him when very few did.
"Coach (Dave) Steckel believed in me even when I was hurt," Foster told InsideMizzou.com Wednesday night. "Several coaches wanted me to come to their summer camp to see if my knee was ok, Missouri told me that my offer was still on the table, that they knew I would work hard and recover from the injury. I didn't have to prove anything to Missouri, that meant a lot to me."
Caring about the prospect earned Missouri not only Foster's loyalty, it will also earn the Tigers his signature next Wednesday on National Signing Day.
"Coach (Gary) Pinkel and his staff kept up with me throughout the whole ordeal, they showed genuine concern about me not only as a player but as a person," Foster said. "Other coaches backed off some, they all came back after I had a great senior season. I decided to go with my heart, to play for the coaches that cared about me throughout the process, not the ones that came back later. It was too little too late, as far as I was concern."
"I didn't give Houston a chance to get involved with my recruitment," Foster said. "I wanted to play in the Big 12 for a team that is on the rise and that has a winning program. Missouri gives me all of those things. Oklahoma State kept telling me that Missouri was too far from home, that I should play for them. It came down to who was there for me throughout everything I went through."
Another important factor for Foster was where he would get the best education. He had already learned the hard way that an injury can delay or end one's career on the gridiron.
"I want to study business," Foster said. "Missouri has one of the best Business Schools in the country. I know I will be successful with a degree from Missouri after football is over for me."
Foster, a 6-foot-1, 270-pound athlete who runs a forty in 4.8 seconds, played defensive end for his high school team. The standout defender realizes he will be playing a new position for the Tigers.
"They want me to play the three technique inside position," Foster said. "I'm looking forward to moving inside, I'm working hard on getting bigger, faster and stronger. Preparing for the college level of football."
Foster took his official visit to Columbia before the Christmas break, he came away very impressed with the campus and the school's atmosphere.
"It's the perfect size college town for me," Foster said. "It has everything I need, but small enough where I won't get side tracked on my studies and my football career."
Foster was also impressed with how everyone loves Mizzou Football.
"It's the only show in town and in the state," Foster said. "Everyone loves the Tigers, I really liked that fact a lot."
Foster will receive a home visit from Coach Pinkel in the next couple of days, something the Foster family is looking forward to.
"My mom got to meet Coach Pinkel on our official visit," Foster said. "He sat down and spoke to both of us, my mom really likes him a lot. We are excited about seeing him, to talk about the program a little more and get ready for National Signing Day."
Does Foster regret his early commitment to the Tigers.
"Not a chance," Foster said. "There is no doubt who I'm signing with on Wednesday. I'm a Tiger and very proud of it."