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Foster off to fast eginning

Mar 1st, 2012

SaDale Foster always has been one to make a good first impression.

When Foster was 7 years old and playing youth football for the Riverside Rams, a kid named Will Smith decided to test him.

Id heard about him because he was on the younger team the year before, said Smith, now Fosters Texas Tech teammate. You always heard about how fast he is. I was like, whatever; lets race this dude. We raced, and he got out and left me. I thought, this kid can really play.

Smith, a Tech linebacker, saw many more examples over the next 15 years.

So he wasnt surprised when two of the most eye-catching plays in the Red Raiders first spring football scrimmage Saturday came from his childhood friend. The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Foster looked decisive and fast, bouncing outside for a 25-yard touchdown. He looked tough and determined, cutting up inside and bulling through three defenders on a 23-yard gain.

Thats just SaDale. Thats what he does, said Smith, who was the fullback to Fosters tailback on the Riverside Rams.

I broke one or two plays, Foster said casually. Right now, Im just trying to get the offense down, learn my reads and get back adjusted to playing running back at the same time. Its a learning process right now.

Foster played inside receiver the last two years for his hometown school, Riverside (Calif.) City College. As a sophomore, he caught a team-leading 56 passes for 750 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was a first-team all-Southern California Football Association punt-return man with his 13.4-yard average and returned 22 kickoffs for a 28.5-yard average.

But Foster was a lifelong running back before junior college, and Tech needs running backs this spring with Eric Stephens and DeAndre Washington both recuperating from knee surgeries.

So Foster says hes spent the last couple of weeks trying to get my running back senses back. Apparently, theyre simple enough to summon.

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Foster off to fast eginning

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