D.J. Foster “couldn’t be happier” to finish career with Sun Devils

GLENDALE, Ariz. – D.J. Foster was one six true freshmen to ever start for Arizona State in their first opportunity.

That was back in 2012. It’s now 2015, and in the blink of an eye, Foster is heading into his final season with the Sun Devils.

There was never any doubt about Foster’s maturity level on the football field, dating back to his time at Saguaro High School. That followed him right to Arizona State. It’s the off the field growth that has Foster in a good state.

“Just becoming a man of respect and understanding people and showing care and being responsible and taking care of business,” Foster said.

Foster had a life-changing decision to make in the offseason: stay with the Sun Devils or leave for the NFL. If Foster decided for the latter, nobody would begrudge him for going that route [as long as he came back and got his degree]. Instead, he decided to return for his senior season and finish what he started.

Foster says he wouldn’t go back on his decision, even if he could.

“100-percent. I couldn’t be happier. I love playing running back, but at the end of the day, I see my future in the NFL definitely as a slot receiver, or any type of receiver,” Foster said. “Running backs’ careers are very short, two or three years. You take a beating. [With] my body type and how I play, I feel like I definitely can make a contribution to an NFL team.”

Jaelen Strong is on the doorstep of entering the NFL. Cameron Smith is out for the season after having knee surgery. With those two gone, someone has to step up and be the man at the wide receiver position for Arizona State this season, and Foster is the one to heed the call.

Foster is taking the time during spring practices to get acclimated to his new position. It’s become a bit more work than he thought it would be, but he’s good with that.

“It’s good, it’s a lot of work,” Foster said. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve never spent so much time in the film room trying to learn a position. I’ve had some great people before me, Jaelen [Strong], and watching a lot of NFL tape. [Wide receivers coach DelVaughn] Alexander, Ellis [Jefferson] [and] Gary [Chambers]. We’ve got a lot of veterans out there that are helping me so much and helping me make that transition pretty easy,” Foster said.

Foster’s played in the slot since he’s come to Arizona State, so it’s not like he’s coming right off the street into his new position. For him, it’s about learning the verbiage and all the different positions that deputy head coach and offensive coordinator Mike Norvell will line him up in.

The wide receivers will have a different look to them with Foster there, and so will the quarterbacks. With Taylor Kelly gone, the reigns have been handed over to Foster’s roommate Mike Bercovici, who’s waited patiently for his chance to run the offense.

Foster has the utmost confidence in Bercovici and what he’ll bring to the Sun Devils this season.

“I love seeing him [Bercovici] out there, with his poise and how he controls the offense,” Foster said. “He demands perfection, he demands energy and he demands for us to go out there and compete, and I love that as a quarterback.”

There are a lot of freshmen and sophomores on Arizona State’s spring roster. There might be a lot of people out there that look at that and think the Sun Devils might take a step back because of the influx of youth in the program. Foster takes a different approach to that.

“We’re young, but I think this is the year that we have guys that are fully bought in, from freshmen to seniors,” Foster said. “I think Coach [Todd] Graham – over time – he’s recruited the guys that he wants to play and the guys he likes character wise, [and] I think we finally have that as a full team.”

“He’s [Graham] got guys that want to be the best, and I think that’s what the difference is with this team,” Foster said.






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