D.J. Foster’s life has been filled with both difficult decisions and adversity.
Tuesday afternoon Foster announced to the assembled media he will be returning for his senior season and be putting the NFL on hold because, right now, there are simply other things which take a higher priority.
“By staying my senior year I’m so happy to be a part of this,” Foster explained flanked by his parents on one side and head coach Todd Graham on the other. “I’ll be able to graduate next spring. I still have a lot more things I want to accomplish.”
Lofty goals for one of the Pac-12’s most dangerous duel threats who tallied 12 touchdowns and nearly 1800 total yards in the Devils’ 10-3 season which concluded with a hard-fought win over Duke Saturday in the Sun Bowl.
Graham is pleased with Foster’s decision but understands the dilemma future NFL draft picks face when deciding to return to school or enter as underclassmen.
“Hardest thing to do is be a student-athlete and play at this level,” he explained. “It is a drain on them mentally and physically and then they are forced to make this decision when they’re really kind of tired of school…but D.J. is so mature and understanding of that.”
Foster said he reached out to Graham, the ASU coaching staff and people in NFL circles who advised him staying is school was likely his best option.
His father Darryl Foster got emotional when talking about D.J.’s older sister Jennifer who passed away at the age of 19 from an accidental drug overdose. D.J. was just 15 at the time.
“Something in her life that she always wanted for him is to know that there’s more than just football,” Darryl Foster explained. “He always talks about chapters in his life…finishing chapters and ASU is that chapter and he’s going to put the finishing touches on a great senior year.”
Foster said he is on pace to graduate next spring.