Well, there you have it. Barring a pre-signing day flip, Robert Foster will be playing his college football at Alabama. Obviously, this is a big blow to Pitt. The Panthers were considered the favorite to land Foster's services, and pretty much everyone I've talked to today considers this a pretty sizeable upset in the recruiting world.
At the end of the day, though, it's tough to blame Foster for his choice. The Crimson Tide are arguably the top football program in the country and probably have the best chance year-in, year-out at a national title. Pitt will certainly win its fair share of recruiting battles for top WPIAL kids (Rushel Shell obviously comes to mind) but Alabama has some clout that Pitt just doesn't right now.
One thing that was obvious today, and is clear in the video, is that this was a very tough choice for Foster. He definitely knew he would disappoint some people -- people he cared about -- by choosing Alabama, but ultimately wanted the challenge of playing in the SEC. His mom even said she would have preferred him staying at Pitt, but understood and respected her son's choice.
Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said the toughest part for Foster was going to be telling the Pitt coaches 'no.' Foster, too, spoke very highly of his relationship with Pitt receivers coach Bobby Engram. I don't think there's anything Pitt really did or didn't do, Alabama is just Alabama.
I also think there's something to be said for the fact that Foster is a kid who really doesn't like the spotlight on him. If he was at Pitt, he would immediately be a star, like the way Shell is now. At Alabama, he can go in relatively anonymously.
So where does that leave Pitt? Obviously, it makes Tyler Boyd's recruitment much more important. Even though Boyd would likely play a different position than Foster (Foster is an outside guy, where Boyd is more of a slot receiver), he's a guy who can step into a significant role right away.
Devin Street will be penciled in for one of Pitt's starting WR spots next year, but the other one is up for grabs. Foster would almost certainly have slid in there quite nicely. Instead, it'll likely be someone like Ed Tinker taking that spot. Pitt has a commitment from South Fayette WR Zach Challingsworth, but I think he'll probably take a redshirt next season.