HomeSportsFormer NFL linebacker Rueben Foster opens up on his return to professional football

Former NFL linebacker Rueben Foster opens up on his return to professional football

by Andrew Graham
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/USFL/Getty Images)

Former Alabama and NFL linebacker Reuben Foster is getting a new lease on his football life. And he’s doing so with the USFL’s Pittsburgh Maulers.

Foster had a troubled and brief NFL, marred by off-the-field issues and criminal charges. It’s been roughly four years since he’s played pro football. In an interview with Fox Sports’ RJ Young, Foster shared how it feels to be back.

“It feels great, man. I was kind of nervous. But you know, like how God gave you the skill sets as kid, it’s like riding a bike,” Foster said. “So I just feel overwhelmed and it feels unbelievable, to be honest.”

And Foster is playing for a Maulers defense that is one of the best in the USFL. The Maulers are tops in the league in points allowed (86 through five games) and turnover margin at plus 5.

Under the direction of head coach Ray Horton and defensive coordinator Jarren Horton, Ray’s son, the Maulers defense has been lights out.

“I’m happy to be a part of this defense because it’s awesome. Because Ray Horton and Jarren Horton are great coaches. Great coaches, they have a great coaching staff,” Foster said.

Foster loves playing in it, and he loves getting to go out and lay some wood again. He was so excited while talking about it that he let slip with a curse word.

“And just to be able to just, go out there and hit somebody that’s not on my team, s***,” Foster said before immediately apologizing to the amusement of Young. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Shoot, it feels amazing, because I love football man. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid, man. It’s a dream and it’s a real activity. Most people aren’t blessed to be in my position, only one percent. I’m not taking it for granted and it feels great.”

Foster played four seasons at Alabama from 2011-16, during which he won a national championship. The San Francisco 49ers selected Foster with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent 2017 and part of 2018 with the 49ers before heading to play for Washington. Foster played there until 2020 when Washington released him.

He signed with the Pittsburgh Maulers in January of this year, jumpstarting his football career.

In three games this season, he has 26 total tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception.