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Foster care: Barbe grad back playing QB at LSU

Last Modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:56 AM

By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

BATON ROUGE — LSU’s third-string quarterback is best known for the circus catch he made in the Texas A&M outfield.

It was a game-saver for the Tigers — the clutch catch of the season — in baseball.

Now the multi-sport Tiger is back where he started at LSU on the football field.

He’s not likely to start at quarterback this year — freshman Brandon Harris and sophomore Anthony Jennings have a spirited competition in place for that honor — but he’s happy to be back in helmet and pads.

“It started off a little slow, I’m just knocking the rust off and throwing the ball again,” said Foster, who hasn’t played in a live football game since his senior year at Barbe in 2010, and hasn’t even practiced the sport since the following fall of 2011.

That’s when he showed up at LSU as a “preferred walk-on” following an All-State career at Barbe High School in which he threw for 3,090 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior.

He was on the 2011 LSU team that went 13-0 in the regular season before losing to Alabama in the BCS national championship game.

Then baseball got in the way, A sport where he made the All-SEC tournament team in 2013 before slumping at the plate this past season while still providing a few highlights such as the ninth-inning catch at Texas A&M. Still a YouTube favorite (and ESPN’s play of the day), it kept the Aggies from scoring the winning run and sparked the Tigers to win the game in an inning later.

So Foster was basically minding his own business following the baseball season this year, planning to go to the Northwoods League in Michigan for summer ball.

He had a brief discussion with head football coach Les Miles before heading to Michigan, but didn’t think much about it.

But he was back home shortly afterwards to rehab a strained oblique muscle.

By then LSU football was down to just Harris and Jennings as scholarship quarterbacks.

“The day I got back actually was the day I got a call from Coach (Cam) Cameron (LSU’s offensive coordinator) and I came up here and met with him.”

Cameron, who only joined the LSU staff last year, didn’t know much about Foster the football player.

“He and I met one time when they (baseball team) were practicing in the indoor facility,” Cameron said. “Somebody told me, yeah, that guy, he was the good athlete, the one who used to play football.”

Cameron suddenly wanted to get to know more about LSU’s outfielder after three scholarship quarterbacks left the program between spring practice and the middle of the summer.

With the starting job obviously between Harris and Jennings, veteran backups Stephen Rivers and Hayden Rettig announced they were leaving shortly after spring practice. Rob Bolden, a transfer from Penn State who practiced at wide receiver in the spring, could have moved back to his original position for some depth, but he also decided to transfer.

“We were down to two (scholarship) quarterbacks and Les said (Foster) might be interested in coming back,” Cameron said. “To me it was really a guy who had been with the team before and he had some interest in coming back. And Les was fine with that.”

“He said he had gone back and watched some of my high school film,” Foster said. “They wanted to know if could still do some of those things, get my instincts back.”

They certainly didn’t promise him anything.

Foster may even be in a battle with three other walk-ons to be the third quarterback.

But while he knows beating out Harris and/or Jennings is a longshot, he takes nothing for granted.

“They’re both quality guys, they’re both quality athletes,” Foster said of two QBs. “They can both do the job.

“But you’re always competing. You never know what’s going to happen. I just want to be here for the team. I’m enjoying it.”

Foster had baseball coach Paul Mainieri’s blessings to go on loan to the football team and hasn’t given up baseball. But he will play the two sports by ear.

“Coach Mainieri and I will sit down after the (football) season and talk about it,” he said. “I still intend to do both.”

He has two years of eligibility remaining in football, one in baseball.

Depending how things go with football this season, he may redshirt this spring in baseball and return to the diamond for the 2016 season.

After that?

Who knows?

Maybe basketball coach Johnny Jones will give him a call — Foster also played two years of hoops at Barbe.

Posted By: Deanne Abshire On: 8/13/2014

Title: Foster fan

I am so happy for Jared Foster. My son played baseball and football with him at Barbe so we know him and his wonderful family. He is a great kid from a great family--a quality guy that would be an asset to the LSU football program. Looking forward to seeing him on both fields. Good luck, Jared. You deserve a shot.

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