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March 23, 2012
Billy Foster has had a rocky ride since he left high school, but he's still in position to chase his dreams. So it should be no surprise that he's still dodging curveballs on his way to a shot at the NFL.
Foster attended the University of Memphis Pro Day at the Murphy Athletic Complex, and just about every team in the NFL was represented. . . but they weren't exactly there to see Foster, or much of anybody else.
"Just about every (team) was there," he said, "but I didn't get to work out for anybody. They only had d-line and o-line (defensive and offensive line) coaches there. We did the broad jump, bench (press), 40 (yard dash), shuttle and a couple of other basics, and then it was straight to line stuff."
With Dontari Poe and Ronald Leary on the scene, this is far from shocking. Poe is probably the hottest name in NFL war rooms around the country, shooting up draft boards like a bottle rocket on the Fourth of July. Foster took it in stride.
"Yeah, they were probably here mostly to see Big Poe!"
Foster hopes some NFL team gives him a serious look due to his versatility.
"I compare myself to Darren Sproales," he began, " a guy who can get in the backfield and be a full-time back, but also split out wide and be a threat. Then get back there and return kicks or punts, maybe do some time on special teams. I feel I can do a little bit of everything."
The shifty running back/wideout has been through a myriad changes since he left high school, but he hopes it all turns out to his favor.
"My offensive co-ordinator was fired after my freshman year at juco," he recounted. "I had two head coaches at Memphis. I was hurt that first year under Coach (Tommy) West so that almost doesn't count. But then, I had two offensive co-ordinators under Coach (Larry) Porter, too.
"But I tried to take something from everyone I played under. I really learned a lot and I hope it works to my advantage if I make it to the NFL."
Foster's time in Memphis is rapidly drawing to a close.
"I'm flying out Sunday, heading home to Miami," he said.
Rest assured, Memphis fans, that the team and the city on the east bank of the Mississippi River will always have a special place in Billy's heart.
"I'll never forget Ching's!" he gushed. "There's no place like it. And I met some of the most amazing friends in Memphis. There are so many people that I care so much about, I'm going to keep in touch with them. We became close and it feels like we grew up together.
"And the guys on the football team are like true brothers. I will always be a Tiger. Years from now, when I come back here, I'll still be the same Tiger. I'm a Tiger for life."
In the mean time, Fister is ready to return home and wait for the NFL to call.
"I'm looking into two different agents that I'm interested in back in Miami," Billy explained. "It's got to be someone I can trust. And once I sign, I'll schedule some more workouts and just wait for the phone to ring."
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