CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Four-star linebacker Justin Foster plans to head into his senior season with a list of finalists.
“Definitely by the end of the summer I’ll have a list – maybe in the next couple of months when we get out of school,” Foster said. “It just depends if I graduate early or stay all the way through.”
A maximum of eight schools could comprise Foster’s list. But, the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder from Shelby (N.C.) Crest may have it down to five.
Two programs have already earned a berth on that finalists list: Clemson and Tennessee. The orange duo have been constants throughout his recruitment.
“I can say that [Clemson and Tennessee] are ahead of the pack,” Foster said. “They kind of recruit me the hardest out of anyone. So yea, they’re kind of ahead of the pack.”
The “pack” consists of a couple of dozen schools that have offered Foster.
According to Foster, there’s a “50-50” chance that North Carolina makes the cut.
“I’m still checking out everything and going through stuff [with UNC],” Foster said.
“My dad’s family grew up loving Carolina (my mom’s family is a little different – they like Clemson). My dad loves them and I’ve visited them a couple of times. I love the defense, Coach [Larry] Fedora, [and] Coach [Gunter] Brewer. I talk to Coach Brewer a little bit – they’re just great coaches.”
Brewer’s pitch is that Foster will complete a linebacker haul that already includes Malik Robinson.
“They’re just saying that I’ll be a great fit in there, they said I could play any linebacker position, and they could prepare me for the next level,” Foster said.
While playing outside linebacker for Crest, which went undefeated and claimed the NCHSAA 3AA title, this past season, Foster tallied 67 tackles, including a dozen for a loss and three sacks.
Within the last couple of years, Foster has camped at UNC and attended a pair of games. Most recently, he partook in the Tar Heels’ elite junior day back in February, the junior day held in conjunction with the basketball game against Duke.
There’s a chance that Foster could return to UNC before trimming his list.
“Maybe, I’ll have to see my schedule,” Foster said. “I know that I’m going to take a good bit of visits this summer just to go through before I start narrowing it down. But, I don’t have anything scheduled.”
In addition to UNC, Foster has visited Alabama, Clemson, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.