Ormond Beach native Bruna’ Foster played football in college. Now, he's trying to catch the attention of a professional squad, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the top.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
Bruna’ Foster graduated from Grambling State University with a degree in criminal justice. However, he doesn't plan on putting that to use anytime soon.
A former Mainland High School football player, Foster was one of about 20 hopefuls from Volusia County and beyond who attended a pro day Jan. 13, to try and catch the eye of coaches from the Canadian Football League or a local arena league.
Hosted by the Ormond Beach-based Axios Sports Management, the pro day marked its fourth year last weekend and has sent a handful of players to Canadian pro league training camps in each of its first three years.
Foster, whose brother is NFL player Eric Weems, said he already signed a contract with the Chicago Slaughter, of the Indoor Football League, but he attended the pro day to try and catch on with a team at a higher level. He said his contract with the Slaughter has a clause that allows him to back out if he gets signed by a team at a higher level.
“I’m still chasing my dreams,” Foster said. “So I’m just out here trying to get it still.”
Chasing that dream is more sweat than glamour, though. Foster said he’s often alone during his daily workouts. There are times he doesn't want to wake up early to run sprints or do agility drills at the South Ormond Neighborhood Center, but he does it anyway. That's motivation, he says.
“I just want to make a better living for me, my friends and my family,” he said. “I just want to help others, give back to the community.”
For players like Foster, an unexpected opportunity, a streak of good luck following some hard work, can make the difference between giving up on a football career and making it to the bigs.
Take for example, Justin Hilton, who was at the pro day not to workout, but to support two high school teammates from Harmony High School, in Kissimmee.
Hilton spent time playing at the the junior college level before finishing his academic career at Indiana State University. The Cincinnati Bengals invited him to training camp as an undrafted free agent, but he was cut, he says, due to roster restrictions.
“It’s a cold world with no blanket,” he said of professional football.
But after a few injuries late in the season, the Bengals were looking to fill spots on their practice squad. Hilton was signed Jan. 1, and then he signed a two-year contract several days later. If it weren’t for those injuries, he said, he probably wouldn’t have been brought back.
Foster, like all the other players at the pro day, knows catching a break like Hilton’s is only half the battle. If he isn’t prepared to take advantage of an opportunity when it arises, all his work will go to waste.
“I’m ready,” Foster said. “I feel like today was very good. A couple coaches talked to me. I’m ready.”