Senior Sadale Foster is willing to do whatever it takes to bring success to Texas Tech football.
During the offseason, Foster became a jack of all trades, or at least of three positions — running back, receiver and punt returner.
“It wasn’t much talk about it, you know,” Foster said. “Coach asked me if I could do it, and he knew that I’ve done it before in junior college. I told him I could do it. I just told him that I would do anything to help the team. I did half of it, half at running back in the spring. Any way we can mix it up to get me the ball is good.”
Foster is currently listed behind sophomore Jakeem Grant at inside receiver. Both are very similar in size, Foster is listed at 5-foot-7, 181 pounds and Grant is 5-6, 163.
Grant adds that both are “quick twitch” guys, meaning they are better in short bursts of strength and speed.
“I love my new role at receiver,” Foster said. “I’m just trying to embrace it and do everything I can to be on the field to help my team win games.”
In the backfield, Foster is one of many talented athletes.
Senior Kenny Williams and sophomore DeAndre Washington are listed atop the depth chart while newcomers Tyler Middleton, a junior transfer, and freshman Quinton White have been competing for reps in practice.
“(They’re looking) really good,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Really been proud of DeAndre and Kenny. They’ve stepped up and done a great job of leading the offense. They’re two guys that can take it anytime you give it to them so we’re excited about them.”
Foster will also have a role on special teams, currently listed at the top of the depth chart for punt return.
His ease at making the transition comes from his two years at Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif., where he was a unanimous first-team All-National Division East Conference selection as a punt returner in 2011 as well as one of the team’s top receivers.
As a punt returner, Foster returned 24 kicks for a 13.4 average with one touchdown.
“I’m really excited about punt return,” Foster said. “When the coaches first came to me and I told them about me playing punt return and everything, we talked about it and (the coaches) said ‘We’ll see’ because (the coaches) hadn’t really seen me play punt return since I’ve been here. You can look back at some of my film when I was in junior college and I can actually do it. So, when it came out to the spring, we competed about it and I didn’t really drop too many punts so that put me at the forefront.
“But we have to compete again now so I have to keep it up. It’s something I’m real excited about. I love doing it. It just brings a thrill to the game. I could change the pace of the game instantly with a punt return.”
While he was at Riverside City College, Foster had a much different role. Instead of supporting and helping his teammates, he was asked to be the guy. As a wide receiver he caught 56 passes for 750 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He ended his career at Riverside with a 21-1 record in two seasons, leading the Tigers to a perfect season and a postseason win over Saddleback College in the Golden State Bowl.
“I’ve done a lot of things as far as my junior college career, and it was a lot asked of me,” Foster said. “I was asked to be the guy on my junior college team. I was the guy that was going to catch nine or 10 balls a game. I was expected to score touchdowns when I got those opportunities. On the team that I’m on now, we have a lot of weapons and I’m not expected to do that much, but I’m expected to do a lot. I like being in a position where the ball’s going to be in my hands and I’m able to make big plays and help my team be successful.
“But when you’re surrounded by guys like Eric Ward, Kenny Williams and Jakeem Grant, who’s a speedster, that just lightens your load. The focus of attention is not so much on me as far as what I’m doing. We’re all going to help each other, free each other, help the running game, and the running game will help the passing game, so it will be good.”
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