Robert Foster gets UA Game invite

MONACA, Pa. -- Sometimes exceptions to the rule can be made. Robert Foster is as soft spoken and unassuming as the quaint town of Monaca, Pa., where he lives.

Located just a few miles off the shores of the Ohio River, Monaca is one of those postcard towns that can't be painted. To see it for yourself is the only way to fully understand its charm. That's Robert Foster.

As Central Valley athletic director Sam Cercone put it, "Robert is that quiet kid who is oblivious about how special he is. He knows he's got talent, but doesn't know how big a deal he really is."

But when the Warriors wide receiver picked up his jersey on Wednesday as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game, Foster was willing to bend the rules a bit.

Normally, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Foster is the guy who sits in the background before exploding on the field at game time. But on Wednesday, he let loose just a bit -- well, as loose as the down-to-earth Foster can.

"Media doesn't mean a lot to me," Foster said. "But I have to thank all my teammates and teachers that have supported me throughout this whole thing. I couldn't do half the things I do on the field without them.

"I'm blessed for the opportunity and I feel honored to have that opportunity. This is definitely something for my team, too. It's not 11 versus one, it's 11 versus 11. You have to look out for your teammates and your coaches as well."

True to form, Foster didn't want a pep assembly or hoopla for his jersey presentation, instead opting to accept in front of his teammates and family.

"It's refreshing," coach Mark Lyons said of the No. 2-ranked receiver in the nation. "He doesn't want any of the attention. He's embarrassed more than anything. He wants to be just a normal kid. He relishes that. When he brings attention, he shies away from it, but he understands it comes with the territory."

Especially after his sophomore year in which he led Central Valley to the WPIAL Class AAA championship in a 24-7 win over Montour (McKees Rocks, Pa.). The unpretentious sophomore came into his own in that game with a punt return for a score, and adding a touchdown catch. It earned him player of the game status and catapulted him into the public eye.

"My sophomore year, I made plays," Foster said. "Coach gave me the ball and I used the gift I had and got things done. I found out I had the opportunity then. I had a ticket to go to college and start my life and become a man. I don't pay attention to myself. I'm the laid-back person. I look at myself as a regular high school student and focus on my high school career."

That career will end Jan. 4, 2013, at the Under Armour All-America Game in a 5 p.m. ET contest televised on ESPN.

After that it's on to college at Pittsburgh, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon or Southern California.

That decision will come soon enough. Right now Foster is just enjoying his time with the Warriors and trying to build on a junior year that saw him make 37 catches for 584 yards and score 12 touchdowns.

"Truthfully, the commitment part is something where you have to feel comfortable," he said. "Why should I force myself to make a commitment early and then not feel comfortable with the commitment I made?

"The commitment will come with what's inside me. My mother always told me you get that feeling when you know what's right for you. I'm just waiting for that feeling."