Nick Foster is a bit of an outlier in TCU's 2014 recruiting class. Despite being a three/four star borderline prospect and committing just a four days before signing day, there hasn't been a ton of writing on Foster on the recruiting sites. The reason for that is that he actually committed four days before signing day 2013 and didn't waiver in his commitment to the frogs until signing day 2014, which is the kind of dedication any program dreams of in a commit. TCU was the first program to offer Foster, and as he was so quick to commit the offers from the usual suspects were slow to roll in, despite serious interest from Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, so don't be too dissuaded by the lack of offers- if he'd been receptive to other coaches the offers would have been there (interestingly Sonny Cumbie was his head recruiter at Tech, so he ended up with two head recruiters on the TCU staff).
So, now that we know the recruiting story, why was TCU so quick to pull the trigger on an offer for Foster? In one word: Speed. Nick Foster has been electronically timed running the 40 in 4.42 seconds, which is not too far off of the combine time of our beloved predator Jason Verrett. Also like Verrett, his hudl highlight film shows him to be a solid open field tackler and a good run supporter, consistently keeping running backs from getting outside and eagerly fighting through blocks. Those are the kind of attributes that generally would have you expect a higher recruiting profile and star ranking from the recruiting sites, but they don't typically like to give big star boosts to kids who commit early and don't go to the big all-star camps. Despite my high opinion of Foster's potential, there are numerous things that hes going to have to work on to be a success at cornerback at TCU. The first is a problem of frame, in that despite being 5'10"-5'11" on the recruiting sites, Foster weighs in at 170 pounds, which is likely to get you run over by the big receivers and running backs of the Big 12 no matter how strong a tackler you are. Foster's coverage in high school also involved a good deal of contact with receivers, which is fine when you're the best athlete on the field, but much less so against fellow athletic freaks, so there's going to be some adjustment in mindset and build if he's going to play physical with receivers at TCU. Finally there's a bit of the unknown about Foster as, despite his great athleticism, the majority of Foster's film shows him making tackles on short routes, which is heartening, but it means that we don't have any good way of knowing what his ball skills are going to be at the college level- we've gotten very accustomed to cornerbacks who are big playmakers, denying balls and jumping routes, and there's no indication either way whether Foster has the instincts to play cornerback the way Patterson loves.
Though his lack of weight and the depth in the secondary this year would scream redshirt to me, don't underestimate Patterson's love of speed and tackling ability. Foster may end up on special teams if nothing else to get his feet wet before challenging for one of the corner spots in 2015-2016. TCU has always been about speed, so Foster is an exciting recruit for Patterson and company, I can't wait to see him on the field.