One of the state's best sophomore offensive lineman is sitting in a seat too small, as serious question askers fire away.
Sean Foster is seriously listening. It's a don't-let-'em-see-you-sweat moment, and Carmel Catholic's mountain of a young man realizes he is on the spot.
The questions are penetrating, immediately.
"What's your favorite horror movie?"
Say what? Foster looks horrified. Deers are more relaxed after headlights have been flashed in their eyes. But the towering teen quickly composes himself.
"I ... don't ... have one," Foster says, finally.
"You don't like horror movies?" the question asker says with raised eyebrows.
"No ... I do," Foster assures. "I just don't ..."
"How tall are you?"
Foster's answer: 6 feet 8 inches.
Or, as Mrs. Glogovsky explains to her second-graders in Room 3006 at Freemont Elementary School in Mundelein, "That's like six rulers on top of each other, plus eight more inches."
"What's your favorite video game?"
"Probably ‘Call of Duty,' " Foster says.
A 7-year-old boy cheers and nearly goes into a touchdown dance.
"What is your favorite cartoon animation?"
"Probably ... Bugs Bunny," Foster says.
Cheers erupt as if Foster just flattened a blitzing linebacker.
"What's your favorite movie?"
"Probably ‘Despicable Me,' " Foster says.
Oh, yes, the O-lineman just scored a touchdown with his audience with that answer.
"Two or one?" comes the quick follow-up question.
"Two," Foster says.
Room 3006 is now shaking with energy. Keira, TayShaun, Abrar, Danny, Natalie and Mason are loving it. So too are Deepti, Eli, Eden, Hannah, Eva, Ryan, Allie, Vincent and Riley. It's maddening, Madyn and Mac. Ramsen roars. Jazelle is jazzed up. Sid wants a "Foster 75" jersey. Alisha, Brayden and Oliver are now Carmel football fans. This is cool, Cooper. Too bad Elise missed school today.
Sean Foster is a star. He's won over his audience and has done so without one bead of sweat dripping from his forehead.
Consider Foster more than ready to answer future questions from men who will seem like kitty cats compared to those who grilled him Monday.
The 6-8, 265-pound Foster has already received scholarship offers from Nebraska, Cal, Indiana and Northern Illinois. And the recruiting process is far from over for the 16-year-old, who visited Notre Dame just last weekend.
"He's really good," Rylan Foster, who's 7, says with conviction of her brother, who she invited to read to her second-grade classmates this week.
The long-armed Foster, whose dad, Troy, was a lineman at Iowa, has taken more than a dozen unofficial visits to college-football campuses.
"It's been a lot of fun," says Foster, who started at offensive tackle for Carmel's varsity last fall. "Going to see all of these colleges and then getting offered (a scholarship) is an outstanding experience for both me and my family. Most of the time I get to be with my dad, and we just have that bonding on the way to all of these colleges."
Wherever Foster has traveled, he has heard good things from coaches about his skills and potential to play Division-I football.
"Which is awesome to hear because of all the time and effort me and my dad have put into (my development)," Foster says. "(The college coaches) like how quick I am off the ball, how physical I am with my hands and how I'm able to control the players that I'm going up against and get them all the way to the ground."
As he reads "How Full Is Your Bucket?" to Rylan and her classmates, Foster couldn't look more relaxed, even if he's sitting in a chair the size of a tricycle. After all, his attentive little sister is sitting next to him.
"Today was awesome," Foster says. "It's not every day that you're going to come and see your sister and make her day by just reading to her class. To me, that's pretty special. It's an amazing brother feeling."
And, no, the public-speaking experience wasn't horrifying, even if one question was.
"The (question) that made my day was the one about the horror movie," Foster says with a laugh.
Hey, Sean. You made their day.
College coaches, fire away.
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