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With his trip to Iowa in the books, Oskaloosa 7-footer Xavier Foster has taken his final official visit. The Fosters hope to schedule one last in-home visit with his finalist schools.
Then, after three long years of recruiting, Foster plans to announce his college decision Nov. 11, just before the Nov. 13 signing day.
His father, DaJuan Foster, spoke with the Register this week to give an inside look at Xavier's official visit to Iowa. He also detailed what the decision-making process may look like over this final month of Xavier's recruitment.
Here's what happened during the visit
The Fosters had dinner with Iowa's coaching staff at Joseph’s Steakhouse in downtown Iowa City on Friday night. The next morning, Xavier met Liz Tovar, Iowa's associate athletic director of student-athlete academic services. The Fosters then watched Iowa's practice at 10 a.m., and Xavier talked with the players and the other official visitors — 2020 big Josh Ogundele and 2021 forward Treyton Thompson.
After that, Xavier met with Iowa athletic director Gary Barta in his office.
"'You can’t go wrong with the schools you’ve got. We’d like to see you become a Hawkeye, but they’re all great schools and they all offer a lot of good stuff,'" DaJuan remembers Barta saying. "'Just make sure it’s the best for you in basketball. And just know that when you become a Hawkeye, you stay (a Hawkeye). You can always come back and get your degree.'"
Barta also discussed Iowa's alumni network — how "there's Hawks all over the country," DaJuan said.
Following the meeting with Barta, the Fosters went over to coach Fran McCaffery's house to watch college football games and eat lunch. The whole team came over, too. Joe Wieskamp was Xavier's host player, DaJuan said.
From there, Xavier headed over to Kinnick Stadium with the players and hung around the tailgate. They then got some more shots in at Carver-Hawkeye Arena before walking back over to Kinnick to watch Iowa play Penn State. Most of this visit revolved around Xavier spending time with the players and fellow Hawkeyes targets, DaJuan said.
After the game, the Fosters headed home.
There was no real sit-down-in-Coach's-office, here's-the-final-recruiting-pitch moment. DaJuan said Iowa has been consistent with its message throughout its three years recruiting Xavier.
"'You could be yourself,'" he said of Iowa's main message. "'You could play inside and out. An opportunity to play right away in the Big Ten.' And that his style of play, he fits, because Fran will play three bigs at times. All three of (them) can't be on the post."
Iowa sees Xavier as a forward/center blend.
"Just his style of play and how he fits in — wide-open," DaJuan said.
So, what now?
There's less than a month until decision day.
The Fosters will try to schedule one more in-home visit with Iowa, Iowa State, Providence and Virginia Tech. Baylor added four-star 7-footer Zach Loveday in late September, filling Foster's potential spot.
DaJuan said both Iowa and Iowa State have respectfully encouraged Xavier to commit when he knows in his heart where he wants to play. But DaJuan honestly doesn't think his son knows where that is yet.
There's plenty to think about over the next 26 days.
"We’re just going to sit down and ask him what he thinks. I seriously think he doesn't know," DaJuan said. "And then we’ll have to go through the pros and the cons of each situation, what he feels in his gut. It’s really about that. 'Where do you want to be?'"
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
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