ASU landed its biggest recruit since Vontaze Burfict when in-state star running back D.J. Foster elected to become a Sun Devil. After a terrific fall camp performance, Foster became just the fifth true freshman in school history to start the season opener.
Against NAU, Foster came out of the gates swinging, with 63 rushing yards in the first quarter. At the conclusion of the 63-6 massacre by ASU, Foster posted 99 total from yards scrimmage and a touchdown.
When asked to grade his performance, Foster indicated that he would be a tough teacher.
"70. I think I have a lot of room for improvement and stuff," Foster said. "Just getting faster, getting the tempo going as a offense just be more productive."
Maybe I'm the easy teacher that everyone tries to sign up for, but that performance was closer to a solid B in my book. The one downfall of Foster's debut was a fumble (recovered by ASU), and head coach Todd Graham made sure the youngster learned his lesson.
"'Don't ever fumble the ball again'. That's one of our number one things is own the ball...making sure it doesn't happen again," Foster said on Graham's reaction to fumble. "I didn't play the rest of the game...yesterday after practice they ran me hard."
Besides the fumble hiccup, Foster displayed extreme versatility and tremendous raw speed. Foster's ability to catch out of the backfield and even lineup as a wide reciever makes him a crucial part of offensive coordinator Mike Novell's scheme.
To help ease Foster's transition from high school football to college, older players have been mentoring Foster by showing him the ropes.
"Cam Marshall definitely as a running back, he has helped me a lot," Foster said. "He's definitely always motivating me, and a lot of older guys, Brandon Magee, (Alden) Darby, Keelan (Johnson), all the other guys have been supportive."
Next up for ASU and Foster will be Illinois tomorrow, the first challenging game to help gauge how good the Devils are. The Illini defense is beastly, lead by defensive end Michael Buchanon and star backer Ashante Williams.
"They are fast and strong and definitely a step up. Every week is going to get harder," Foster said. "Just watching film on them so far, they are definitely a physical team but are fast too."
While anticipation for kickoff grows, Foster took a step back for a second, coming to realization on how privileged he is to ASU.
"I'm 100-percent happy with my decision. There is nothing like seeing all your family and friends after the game, it just means a whole lot more." Foster said.
Outside of football, just like any freshman at ASU, Foster still needs assistance finding classes. Although with 4.4 speed, Palm Walk goes by a lot quicker.
"It's hard finding classes...I got my map trying to find everything," Foster said. "So it's hard but everyone is helpful and stuff."
Back onto the gridiron, Foster is currently the second option in ASU's rushing attack, but in a year from now, he may be be the workhorse. Foster has impressed the coaching staff countless times, causing his expectations to rise.
"Just be the best player I can be, Coach Norvell and Coach (Larry) Porter definitely have high expectations of me," Foster said. "I know everything will pay off in the end."