Updated at: 02/05/2013 3:38 AM
(AP) ATLANTA - Five-star linebacker prospect Reuben Foster says he’ll play for Alabama after a recruiting process that left him torn between the state’s two rivals _ and sporting an Auburn tattoo.
The Auburn (Ala.) High School star said Monday night on Fox SportsSouth that he plans to sign with the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide over the Tigers _ where he had committed at one point _ and Georgia.
Foster is rated the nation’s No. 2 prospect by Scout.com and a five-star player by each of the major recruiting services. He said he made his decision "on my way up here.
"I was just confused," Foster said on "The New College Football Show" with daughter A’Ziya perched on his lap. "I went on the air and just came out with the heart."
Foster, regarded as the nation’s top inside linebacker prospect, says he has been an Alabama fan "since I was a pup." That didn’t make the recruiting process simpler, though.
He had switched his initial commitment from Alabama to rival Auburn, and then withdrew his pledge to the Tigers after the firing of coach Gene Chizik. Before flipping, though, he got an Auburn tattoo etched onto his right forearm.
Foster left his visit to Auburn on the final recruiting weekend and headed to Tuscaloosa.
His indecision had led some fans to express their ire on social media.
"It’s crazy how fans blow up your Twitter and call you names and it hurt," Foster said.
Nick Saban’s Tide was already flirting with the nation’s top recruiting class again, and Foster’s signing would be a big boost. The intense, often scowling Saban has led Alabama to three of the last four national titles. Foster said he saw the coach’s lighter side.
"Everybody says coach Saban’s uptight," he said. "He’s not uptight with me. He’s just trying to get the job done. He’s smiling, having fun."
Foster and other high school seniors around the nation can sign scholarships with their chosen colleges starting Wednesday.
Foster moved to Auburn from Troup County High School in Georgia for his senior year.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)