Amaad Foston is a straightforward kind of guy.
He’s known for often taking the shortest route from handoff to the end zone, even if it means running over a few would-be tacklers along the way.
It should come as no surprise then that the two-time All-State running back from John Milledge Academy already has his eyes on his next challenge. He said as much Wednesday after signing to continue his football and academic career at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
“It’s been a long process, but I've still got a long way to go,” Foston said. “I’m glad this has passed and I can move on to the next chapter.”
The wait from verbal commitment to putting pen to paper was a long one for the 6-foot, 210-pound running back. He visited the UVA campus over a weekend last January and pulled the trigger on his commitment only a day or two later. Foston had plenty more time to play the field since Wednesday just marked the start of college football’s early signing period, but he liked what he saw from the Cavalier coaching staff during that visit 11 months ago. He felt there was no need to drag out the recruiting process any longer, despite having offers from other DI schools like South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky.
“I felt at home in that environment and the coaches treated me well,” Foston said of UVA. “I knew it was the place for me and the perfect situation to go and show my abilities to the world.”
The two-time All-County Offensive Player of the Year will enroll early at Virginia in January, giving him an extra spring and early start with the program. He’ll enter with a major of psychology, and won’t be the only Peach State product traveling north. As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, five of UVA’s football signees hail from Georgia.
Looking back on his high school career, Foston was among the best ever to lace up his cleats and put on his pads in the GISA. A preseason practice injury kept him out his entire senior year, but in the three years prior he had already accumulated 5,215 rushing yards and 75 touchdowns for the Trojans. Better than one out of every 10 of his carries went for scores, and many were highlight reel-worthy. He saved his best high school performance for last. In the 2019 GISA AAA state championship game between JMA and Valwood, Foston ran for a whopping 423 yards and eight touchdowns to help the Trojans win 62-19. Both are thought to be state championship game records in the state of Georgia.
John Milledge head football coach and offensive play caller JT Wall already knew well he had something special in Foston, but that knowledge was reinforced throughout the 2020 season while the player was out hurt.
“He’s been my security blanket the last three years,” Wall said. “I knew on fourth-and-2 or fourth-and-3 that we were going to give it to Amaad. Not having that this year was hard to get used to for us.”
The Trojans of course did overcome that obstacle to win back-to-back state titles without Foston, but everyone will always be left wondering just how much damage No. 20 would have done in 2020 had he been healthy.
“That was a rough day when he suffered that injury,” Wall added. “Where he was physically in August compared to where he was last year when he ended the season was unimaginable. He had picked up more weight, more speed and more strength. It would have been unreal to see what he could have done this year.”
Foston kept his nose to the grindstone though, continuing workouts and attending practices to help his team out where he could. It’s that work ethic and dedication that have the 10th-year head coach believing big-time college football is just the next step for his player on a much longer journey.
“The highest achievable goal is there,” said Wall. “I think he’s got one of the highest ceilings of any player we’ve had. He’s the most polished high school football player I’ve ever coached. Amaad’s known what he wanted from day one, and this is just another step towards that goal.”