Varnado grad is UWA all-decade player

Published 8:25 am Monday, May 4, 2020

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A football player who prepped at a local high school has made the all-decade team for his college.

Otha Foster III made the University of West Alabama football’s all-decade team.

The 2006 Varnado High School graduate played for the Tigers in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

During his time at the University of West Alabama, Foster was an all-American, all region and an all-Gulf South Conference player.

At UWA, Foster, who played defensive back, made 10 interceptions over his two years along with 96 tackles and he broke up 16 passes. Foster is in University of West Alabama’s top eight with his interception total and he is tied with several others with three picks in a game. He was the GSC interception leader in 2012, picking off six passes.

“Those two years at West Alabama, I felt like I was at the top of my game. I felt like I dominated that conference. I played with a lot of good ball players like Malcolm Butler, who is on the all-decade team and he’s on the Patriots all-decade team. Deon Lacey, I played with him. We also won the Grey Cup together in Canada in 2015. Matthew Willis is also on the all-decade team at West Alabama,” Foster said. “To make the all-decade team with some of those guys and there were some of great players at West Alabama, but to be one of the top guys really means something special to me. I played two seasons there. To be on anybody’s all-decade team after two seasons is a big accomplishment.”

Butler, a defensive back, is one of the notable players on the all-decade team.

He played for the University of West Alabama in 2012 and 2013. Butler then went on to the NFL and signed as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots. He played for New England from 2014 through 2017 and has played for the Tennessee Titans ever since.

Another notable player on UWA’s all-decade team is returner Tyreek Hill, who played for the Tigers in 2015. Hill, who was drafted in the fifth round by Kansas City in 2016, has been a receiver and returner with the Kansas City Chiefs since 2016.

During Foster’s time at UWA, the Tigers posted a 17-8 record, going 8-4 and 9-4 respectively, and made the playoffs both seasons. The University of West Alabama lost in the first round the first year and reached the second round the following year. UWA won its first outright conference title in 2012.

After his time at the University of West Alabama, Foster signed as an undrafted free agent with Kansas City in 2013, but was released. Foster also signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017, but was released.

Despite the setbacks in the NFL, Foster has had plenty of success in the Canadian Football League.

Foster, who is a linebacker/safety, has played in the CFL from 2014 until 2018. He’s been with Edmonton (2014-15), Saskatchewan (2016-17) and B.C. (2018).

Foster did not play last year, but signed with Saskatchewan in February.

“I’m very excited,” Foster said. “I’m 31, going on 32 in September. To be playing football at this age and still being able to play at a high level, it’s a blessing. At the end of the day, I’m just ready to go out there and smack somebody.”

In 2015, Foster was part of a Grey Cup Championship with Edmonton in 2015. He was an all-star in 2018.

Over his CFL career, Foster has made 242 defensive tackles, 10 on special teams, nine sacks, three interceptions and forced fumbles. He also has two touchdowns.

Last year, Foster volunteer coached a little bit at Varnado when time permitted.

“It was a learning experience,” Foster said. “It was the first time to coach a team and see what you’ve taught guys and see them take to the field. It was short lived because I was only there for four games. It was a learning experience and something I may want to go deeper into when I’m done playing.”