At the age of seven, David Foust had his first introduction to football when he tried out for the Edgewater Blue Devils, but didn’t take a shine to the sport.
“I went home and I was like ‘I don’t really want to play football.’ I wanted to play another year soccer,” Foust told Testudo Times. “So I went and played soccer for one more year. And then I kind of came to my senses.”
Eight-year-old Foust returned to the football field the next year and started his journey by playing offensive and defensive line for the South River Youth Athletics team at the 80-pound level.
Packages were inserted into the playbook as Foust’s talented arm started to take form, and at the age of 11 he was given the keys to play quarterback.
“Even when I was playing line, I just loved everything about football,” Foust said. “I’d go out and I’d play catch with people. I don’t know any kids that go out and practice O-line at eight years old, but you know, I’d always go out and play backyard football or catch with my friends.”
As his calling of being a quarterback came to fruition in his middle school years, it became apparent to those around Foust that he had the chance to be something special — eventually transforming into a preferred walk-on at Maryland.
“I never knew Dave during his lineman days,” South River head coach Ed Dolch said. “My first introduction to him was at our summer camp. He came over and immediately grabbed our attention, with not just the physical skills, but the way he understood the game at that age.”
When Foust finally reached South River, the plan was for him to spend a year at the junior varsity level to get used to high school and the scheme, but the program was young, inexperienced and injured, according to Dolch, which resulted in Foust getting varsity playing time as a freshman.
“The team went 1-9 my freshman year,” Foust said. “The football program was at an all-time low pretty much. I had my fair share of fun moments, but the seniors on that team — that wasn’t the way they wanted to go out.
“From there, me and the kids and my grade saw what happened there and didn’t want that to happen to us. We get credited a lot with turning around the program.”
The Seahawks — who finished 1-9 in 2016 — finished the 2019 regular season 10-0 and were crowned Anne Arundel County champions. Even though they lost in the playoffs, South River averaged a whopping 43.9 points per game, up from 11.2 during that freshman season.
At 6’4, 170 pounds, Foust has a commanding presence in the pocket to go along with the mental aspects of his game. He said that coaches often use the terms precise, comfortable and poised as feedback.
“Coming into high school, I didn’t really expect to win that many people over with my arm strength,” Foust said. “I’m just extremely accurate, extremely precise and then I kind of win people over just doing all the little things right.”
Throughout his high school career, Foust worked on his arm strength and was able to convert on a number of long throws in his senior season, adding “explosive” as another adjective to his game.
Foust finished the 2019 season with 2,781 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing passes at a rate of 63.4 percent. Between his junior and senior seasons, Foust accumulated 55 touchdowns passing and added 10 scores rushing.
After his senior season, Foust was named All-Anne Arundel County First-Team, won the Rhodes trophy (Anne Arundel County’s Most Valuable Player) and was named the Capital Gazette Player of the Year.
With these accolades came the question of what path to take at the college level. For Foust, the recruiting process began in his junior season despite not putting up prolific numbers.
“Being 6’4 and just kind of having the build — a lot of coaches saw the arm strength that I had, which began to draw attention,” Foust said. “I put my interest more, in the beginning of the recruiting process, kind of in Ivy Leagues. I had a couple of visits to Princeton, I went to Yale, I went to Cornell. I had interest from various FCS schools as well.”
Despite the growing interests, Foust didn’t receive many offers from those schools. Heading into his senior season, it was high-academic Division III schools that were extending offers.
“I never really had the mindset like ‘Oh, I’m too good to go play D3 football or anything like that,’” Foust said. “I just wanted to weigh what’s best for my future and what I’m gonna enjoy the most.”
The interest continued to snowball with Division II programs and FCS schools coming back into the mix during the season and a preferred walk-on opportunity at Maryland came just before the 2019 postseason.
Former Maryland Director of Player Personnel, Dave Mencarini, reached out just before the 2019 playoffs and offered both Foust and WR/DB Sean Leonard preferred walk-on spots at Maryland.
As Foust narrowed down his choices, he included the Terps along with high-academic schools, including the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy.
Foust announced his commitment to Maryland on March 16, after receiving acceptance to the Robert H. Smith School of Business, according to Dolch, who said it was simply a “slam dunk.”
“I think the opportunity at Maryland was of interest to him because it gives an opportunity to continue to get a first class education,” Dolch added. “He’s been a 4.0 plus kid, he was the class president, academics and career path are very important to him.
“He was interested in Maryland even before football was a part of the equation, and now the chance to continue working, developing, reaching his full potential and hopefully getting a shot to show what he can do in the Big Ten.”
Throughout all four years of high school, Foust was a three-sport athlete — competing in football, basketball and baseball — which hindered him from fully filling out into a quarterback’s body.
“He’s never had the benefit of a year round lifting program because he’s been involved in so many other sports and activities around the calendar,” Dolch said. “I don’t think his weight is going to be an issue, especially once he gets the nutrition and lifting that comes with a program of Maryland’s caliber. I think he’s going to fill-out and put on that strength.”
Foust won’t be heading to College Park as the only walk-on from South River, as Leonard also accepted his offer and committed to the Terps on Tuesday.
“Sean is an outstanding football player but an even better teammate,” Foust said. “I know that we are gonna push each other to outwork everyone whether it is on the field, in the weight room, or out on our own. I am super excited for the opportunity to play with him for another 4 years and am ready to get to work with him by my side.”
With Leonard by his side and support coming from his family and others around him, Foust simply will look to use the work ethic that put him in this position to make the most out of it.
“If I work as hard as I am right now, if I can step up and just outwork everybody else, I can get a couple opportunities at Maryland,” Foust said. “And I’m gonna take full advantage of those.”