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Recruiting

Fresh look at the freshmen: Justin Foster

The remaining 10 members of Clemson’s 2017 signing class arrived on campus June 25, joining early enrollees Hunter Johnson, Logan Rudolph, Baylon Spector and Blake Vinson.

The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on each of the newcomers. We break down what the player does best, what he can do to earn playing time as a freshman, his future outlook and more.

Name: Justin Foster

Position: Linebacker / defensive end

Height, Weight: 6-4, 245

Hometown (High School): Shelby, N.C. (Crest HS)

Prospect rankings: 4-star, No. 5 OLB, No. 1 state, No. 73 national (ESPN); 4-star, No. 18 WDE, No. 6 state, NR national (Rivals); 4-star, No. 15 OLB, No. 1 OLB in state, No. 218 national (Scout); 4-star, No. 8 WDE, No. 3 state, No. 134 national (247Sports)

High school stats & accolades: As a senior, had a career-high 83 tackles, 14 for loss and six sacks… Totaled 207 tackles and 33 tackles for loss in his last three seasons… Started on Crest’s AAA state championship teams of 2014 and 2015… U.S. Army All-American… Played for North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl in December 2016

Strengths: Foster brings a big, physical presence off the edge as a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder has some burst in short distances and likes to lay a lick when he gets to the ball carrier. He has good instincts, athleticism and is capable in pass coverage.

What he can do to earn playing time as freshman: Though a redshirt year seemed to be in the cards for Foster a few weeks ago, the season-ending injury to defensive end Richard Yeargin and the transfer of defensive end Lasamuel Davis has left the door open for him to play this season at defensive end. Foster figures to compete for a reserve spot in fall camp with fellow incoming freshman Jordan Williams. If he impresses and is able to earn the trust of the coaching staff, Foster could conceivably crack the defensive end rotation and be given an opportunity to provide depth this season.

Future outlook: Though he could play outside linebacker, Foster is expected to be a stand-up or weak-side defensive end at Clemson. Foster doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but his floor is pretty high and he does have nice upside with his blend of size, quickness and physicality. He should at least be a solid contributor for Clemson in the future, with the potential to be more. Adding some weight could increase his chances of carving out a role on Clemson’s defensive line sooner than later.

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