2010-08-19 / Sports

Wave’s Shuler-Foster focusing on football

BY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent
With the help of his father, Miles Shuler-Foster fell in love with football at a young age.

Miles Shuler-Foster Miles Shuler-Foster Shuler-Foster, 16, has come a long way since his father introduced him to football. He has served as the quarterback for the Long Branch Green Wave, leading the team to a 7-3 record and state tournament berth in 2009.

Following a terrific football season, Shuler-Foster became the fastest sprinter in the state and an All-American. He even recorded the second fastest time in the 100- meter dash in state history.

It was a successful year overall for Shuler-Foster. However, when considering his future, he remains focused on advancing his football career.

“I would love to continue [sprinting], but I’m not focused on that right now. If I’m able to do it in college, I will definitely consider it,” said Shuler-Foster, who has been heavily recruited as a football player.

There are many schools that would be thrilled to add Shuler- Foster to their football roster, but the Long Branch senior has already begun to narrow down his list of choices.

“My top choices would be Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Fordham, the University of California, Stanford and Michigan,” he said.

In addition to his visits to college campuses, Shuler-Foster attended a summer football camp at Rutgers University. He had the opportunity to work with P.J. Fleck, the new wide receivers’ coach at Rutgers.

“I learned a lot, and I definitely enjoyed [the camp],” he said.

Shuler-Foster, who has experience as both a quarterback and wide receiver, considered his time with Fleck as valuable. He has also played on the defensive side of the football for the Green Wave, but he will eventually have to pick one side.

“I’m going to have to choose one side,” he said, “but I prefer the offensive side.”

When asked about any personal objectives, Shuler-Foster considered some improvements he could make for the season, and he thought of one aspect of his game that he plans to work on developing.

“Last season, I would drop back in the pocket and just look to pass. I want to work on my footwork and use my feet a little more this year,” he said.

This specific goal is part of Shuler-Foster’s personal plan for the 2010 season. He spoke about the importance for quarterbacks to create plays rather than drop back and wait for plays to happen.

“I really want to be more of a playmaker,” he said.

“For me, it’s also about being a leader and having more responsibilities,” he added. “Being on the team is like being another brother in a family.”

This summer, he spent time with some teammates at the gym in preparation for the upcoming football season.

And, when it comes to this year, Shuler-Foster is optimistic and willing to set the bar high for the Green Wave. After the team’s success in 2009, he definitely has reason to be optimistic about their chances in 2010.

“We had a fun season last year. I’m looking to have fun again and go for a state championship this year,” he said. “I definitely want a state championship. I feel we have a lot of talent.”

While in the midst of another season with Long Branch, Shuler-Foster must begin positioning himself for a career in college football. He will continue to sort through his list of seven schools until he finally makes a decision at some point before midseason.

He has also been thinking about the bigger picture, his professional life beyond college. He could not say with any certainty where he might be four years from now, but he identified his plans to play football and pursue a medical degree as a guiding force in his future.

Although he plans on working toward a medical degree in pharmaceuticals, Shuler-Foster is still keeping an eye on a career in professional football

“I definitely want a shot at the NFL,” he said.

A career in the National Football League would certainly be a tremendous achievement for the Long Branch standout. For now, Miles Shuler-Foster is excited to begin a new season of Green Wave football and continue the decisionmaking process that will determine where he will begin the next chapter of his life.

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