By Pete Chiodo
August 11, 2012 7:00 a.m. —
The talk about Meadville’s soon-to-be senior Artrel Foster normally involves his skill on the offensive side of the football. And with nearly 3,000 yards of total offense amassed over the last three seasons, that’s understandable.
At times, though, his defensive prowess gets overlooked.
Not by college scouts. They’ve certainly taken notice.
Over the offseason, Foster, a 6-foot, 175-pound speedster, has been courted by a few Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision programs, like Duquesne, Youngstown State and Eastern Michigan.
Foster’s pick, however, was Temple University. He made a verbal commitment to the program this past week. The news was broken when it was tweeted by Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Keith Pompey on Friday.
“I went there to a football camp,” Foster said in a recent phone interview. “I liked the campus a lot. I like their coaches. I think I’ll fit in there.”
Foster will play either cornerback or safety for the Owls.
Foster said he’ll be happy to make a career on the defensive side of things.
“Yeah, I like defense more,” he said. “I just like to hit people. I just like to play defense.”
As a Bulldogs defensive back, Foster has collected 96 tackles, 11 pass deflections and four interceptions. His numbers might be higher, but opposing offenses have learned not to throw the ball in his direction.
“He fits the mold of what a (Division I FBS)-level defensive back is as far as size goes,” said Meadville’s current head football coach and former assistant Mike Feleppa. “He’s 6-foot, 175 pounds, 180 pounds. And that’s the size they are looking for at that level. Obviously he has the speed and athleticism to play that spot.”
Foster will be the first Division I football player from Meadville since Matt Stansfield, who played on the offensive line for Duquesne from 2004 to 2007.
“It’s an exciting thing for Meadville,” said Feleppa. “It’s exciting for the football team, for the community, and for Artrel and his mom. I know he’s excited about it. Now he can put this behind him for now and focus on having a big senior year.”