A lighter Reuben Foster is ready for season opener

A+lighter+Reuben+Foster+is+ready+for+season+opener

UA Athletics

04-01-16 MFB Spring Practice #7 linebacker Reuben Foster (10) Photo by Robert Sutton

04-01-16 MFB Spring Practice #7 linebacker Reuben Foster (10) Photo by Robert Sutton

Terrin Waack

Reuben Foster has dropped 15 pounds since last season.

Comparing the old and new versions of himself to cars, Foster believes he was a Tahoe, but not anymore.

“Yeah, [it’s] like testing a new automobile,” he said Tuesday. “I’m ready to drive a Ferrari.”

The 2015 junior edition of the Alabama linebacker weighed in at 240 pounds, but the senior now checks in around 225 pounds.

Foster has said before he dropped the weight because of knee problems. Not only that, he also knows the game of football is getting fast, and he needs to be able to keep up with the pace — surpass it even. Therefore, he wanted to build more muscle, gain more speed, become more agile and improve his footwork.

It appears he met his goals, too.

“I’m more explosive,” Foster said earlier this month. “It might sound strange, 225 at linebacker, but it feels great. Knees not hurting, back not hurting, it feels great.”

The Auburn native graduated high school as the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker, and according to his ESPN recruiting profile, Foster weighed 242 pounds at the time.

After enrolling in 2013, Foster played in nine games during his freshman season with the Crimson Tide and made his first career start as a sophomore against West Virginia, the season opener.

During his junior year, however, Foster took off. He closed out the 2016 season with 73 total tackles, finishing second behind only former Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland, who notched 102 total tackles and was picked by the Buffalo Bills back in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

“Reuben played a lot of good football for us last year,” coach Nick Saban said back in March. “But I think he’ll be the first one to tell you that there are things he can improve on and certainly we’re going to focus on every one of those things this spring.”

And they did, considering the weight loss. Foster has also said he learned a lot from Ragland in regards to hitting, fighting and focusing on other players than himself that he’ll bring into this season. Overall, Foster feels better about the player he has become. 

Now, it’s his turn to lead the defense.

“We’re pretty fast,” Foster said. “We’re getting into it. There are still ins and outs we’ve got to fix.”

The days are counting down, though.

Saturday marks the first game of the season, as Alabama travels to Arlington, Texas, to take on Southern Cal — the day Foster can really put his new Ferrari to the test.

“I’m ready to get back out there,” Foster said. “We’re all ready to get back out there.”