Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 5/1/13

Five-star linebacker recruit Reuben Foster may have officially committed to Alabama back in February when he dressed as Nick Saban on signing day, but he is keeping his famous Auburn tattoo. Rather than going through the expensive and painful process of having it removed, Foster has had some additional work done to turn the ink into a tribute to his cousin Ladarious Phillips. Here’s a closer look at what Reuben Foster’s Auburn tattoo has become: a tribute to a fallen family member. twitter.com/AlexS_ESPN/sta… — Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) May 1, 2013 Phillips, a former Auburn fullback, was shot and killed last year a month after Foster changed his commitment from Alabama to Auburn and got a tattoo on his right forearm to prove it. Foster says one of the reasons he wanted to play for the Tigers was so he could play with his cousin. He later flipped back to Alabama but insisted he would be keeping the tattoo. Here’s what it used to look like. “I can remember like yesterday we lived by each other before we even thought about playing football,” Foster recently told ESPN’s Alex Scarborough. “We’re family. I’d borrow his Auburn shorts — I’m wearing them now.” Any time a high-profile player flips his commitment from one SEC school to another, they know they are going to be hated. Foster is prepared for that. “Man, the Iron Bowl is going to be crazy,” he said. “Anytime I make a tackle or step on the field or even get near something it’s going to be ‘Boo!’ I tell myself if I hear that it won’t do anything to me. I’ll laugh. You boo me, I’ll give you something to boo about.” While there’s something that doesn’t look right about an Auburn tattoo on an Alabama player’s arm, you can’t fault Foster for paying tribute to his cousin. If that helps him deal with a difficult tragedy, hearing boos because of it is worthwhile.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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