EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Six years ago, Montorie Foster Jr. was a junior at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio. If you had told him then he’d one day be a standout athlete in the Big Ten, he might have believed you. He just wouldn’t have believed it would be as a football player.

At the time, Foster Jr. was one of the top prep basketball players in Northeast Ohio. He did not play football.

Foster Jr. had developed a love of football at a young age, but as he grew older, basketball became his sport. After rediscovering his love of football through playing intramurals, Foster Jr. joined the team at St. Edward as a senior.

The rest, as they say, is history.

“I was pretty good at intramural football so, you know, I thought I could just come out there and do the same thing the first day,” Foster Jr. said. “But it kind of took me some time to develop. So they had me at [defensive back] wearing number 98 with a bucket helmet, but it’s okay though. But that’s kind of where it started, that’s where my love for the game, my passion came back.”

Foster Jr. quickly developed into one of the area’s best wide receivers. He fielded several Div. I offers, mostly from MAC schools, until Michigan State came calling.

“I’m really like a big visual learner, so I kind of really just watched a lot of NFL tape and watched a lot of the wide receivers how they run their routes, how they catch the ball, and stuff like that,” Foster Jr. said of his quick development. “Just little stuff really and that kind of helped my game grow. It’s the same thing I’m doing today still.”

Just five years after picking the game back up, Foster Jr.’s passion and relentless work ethic have transformed him into one of MSU’s go-to wide receivers and unquestioned leaders.

There have been challenges along the way, including a Lisfranc injury that hampered him throughout the 2022 season.

“That was a pretty big challenge for me, going throughout that season and just not being the player that I know I could be that year,” he said. “So it was definitely challenging and I’m just glad I got over that hump and it definitely made me a better player.”

Foster Jr. spoke with the MSUFCU Coaches Show this week about his unique football journey and how it’s prepared him for the leadership role he finds himself in this season.

Ahead of his final game against rival Michigan, Foster Jr. reflected on his mindset entering the rivalry game and detailed why the Spartans still believe their best football lies ahead of them this season.

You can watch the full story in the video player at the top of this article.