BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – What D.J. Foster had to endure this past Friday at ASU Pro Day was nothing compared to what he went through in Indianapolis, Ind., at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“That was the most nerve-wracking part, going to Indy (Indianapolis), and waking up at 6:00 in the morning, and having meetings all day until midnight,” Foster said. “This part (ASU Pro Day) was easy, coming out here, and being relaxed, and being around familiar faces helped a lot. It was definitely a great process, and I thought today (Friday) wen’t very well for a lot of guys.”
Foster would be one of those guys who did well on Friday. Foster admitted that the biggest motivator for him at ASU Pro Day was the 40-yard dash, and running it better than he did at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran a 4.58 on his first try, and a 4.59 on his second. His official time of 4.57 ranked approximately 22nd among all wideouts at the Combine.
On Friday, Foster flew. The determination to blast those times was written all over his face. He heard times anywhere between 4.42 and 4.46, which is more in line with what he was shooting for.
“Any of those (times), I’m happy with, to be honest,” Foster said. “4.4 anything I’ll be happy with.”
Foster was on a mission on Friday. He wanted to show the scouts who crowded on either side of the cones he ran in-between that he was better than the D.J. Foster that ran that same drill in Indianapolis.
“I really did,” Foster said. “Going to the Combine, not a lot of people see the grind three days prior, and going out there, and warming up for a little bit, and trying to go out there and run. I just wanted to show that I do have that top-end speed, along with the quickness, and I felt I like I went out and did that.”
It really is a crazy process, both at the Combine, and at Pro Day. The athletes are poked and prodded, both physically and mentally, with all the drills they have to run, and the physical testing they undertake, and the questions they answer in the breakout meetings they have with teams.
“I feel like it’s really what you make it,” Foster said. “It can be stressful if you put too much weight on yourself, but I have such a great support system, from my family, to my friends, that I can bounce stuff off them, and get the weight off my shoulders. I enjoyed every second of it, from the Combine, to meeting coaches. It’s such an incredible journey that few get to go to, and I’m definitely blessed that I got to do it.”
Being a fantastic local talent, you knew the Arizona Cardinals would have to reach out to Foster at some point, which Foster says they did.
Foster says it was “a very casual conversation,” and it went well.
“From having that experience (being) around them for the last couple years, and being able to see them come to the practices,” Foster said. “Just (a) very casual conversation. They got a first hand look at what I’ve been able to do over the last couple years, so they see what kind of player I am. Just really talking about life, and telling them what I can do for them. I can play running back, slot, (wide) receiver, and special teams as well. Just trying to make that vocal.”
“That’s what I’ve tried to voice to a lot of coaches throughout the process, and a lot of scouts, (that) I’ve played running back for 15 years of my life, (as an) every down running back, as well as my junior year in college, and as well moving to the slot, I did that the first three years, then, this past year, being in the wide receiver room,” Foster said. “A lot of people look at the stats, and get down on (them), and say I didn’t accomplish what I could do, which is ok. I open my mind as a sense of being a leader, and being a student of the game, and being a captain, and going and asking a freshman, ‘Man, what do I (have) on this route? I have no clue what this is.’ I grew so much as a person, and as a man. I definitely don’t regret anything. I learned a lot being in the receiver room.”
The next step for Foster, he says, is to “hang out for a few days,” perhaps by a nice beach, and relax and decompress a bit, but not too much. The grind still has to continue, after that mini-break he takes with his family and friends.
“We got to stay in shape,” Foster said. “A lot of guys make a fault for hanging out for the next two months, but you gotta stay in shape. I’ll be back here to workout. (I’ll) just take a couple days off, regather my thoughts, and appreciate the process that I just went through, and enjoy my success with it, and have fun with my friends and family for a little bit, and (get) back to work.”