LINCOLN — Trey and Jerald Foster always have got along more like best friends than brothers.
The brotherly bickering that comes with having a sibling so close in age disappears wherever the two are together, though parents Jesse and Charlesette Foster likely have interesting behind-the-scenes tales to tell.
A great picture of how well these brothers get along is how they passed time between events at summer track and field meets when they were in elementary school and junior high. Wrestling, poking each other, running around the park — the Foster boys provided plenty of entertaining moments around the shot put ring.
Now, on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, the brothers are set to take the field together as Husker teammates for the first time.
Trey is a redshirt sophomore tight end and Jerald is the freshman who switched from offensive line to defensive tackle less than two weeks ago to help build depth at the position.
When Jerald was going through the rigors of recruitment, it was Trey who offered sage advice.
“I always tried to let him know that it’s his decision,” Trey said. “I told him, ‘I want you to be here, but I’m never going to pressure you to come in here.’
“I want you to go to a place where you want to be. Don’t want you to go somewhere where you’re there for one or two semesters and then you end up transferring.”
That Tunnel Walk on Saturday just before kickoff against Florida Atlantic will be one of those moments they’ll always remember.
Trey created a few memorable moments of his own last year.
There was the near-miss of a touchdown catch against Illinois. Foster dove in the end zone, but the ball was just beyond his fingertips.
Never being a guy to dwell on the negative, Foster prefers to fondly reflect on his first career reception a week later against Purdue. It was a play-action pass going into the flat from Ron Kellogg. It went for 9 yards.
“Personally, I’m somebody that always remembers my successes,” Foster said. “I can tell you about pretty much any catch I’ve had all the way back to high school (at Lincoln Southeast). I love to succeed, I hate to fail, so I try not to remember failure.”
A teammate since their days as Knights who can vouch for Foster’s drive is fellow NU tight end Sam Cotton.
“When you have somebody who you’ve grown up with like that, there’s a natural competitiveness,” Cotton said. “Just like if you were hanging out with your best friend outside of school and you were playing a game of pickup basketball, you compete your butt off and he’ll definitely make you better. That’s Trey.”
Both Foster and Cotton remember the first time they met.
“When I was a freshman in high school, I decided to switch to tight end,” Foster said. “I met this goofy kid with long, blond hair that had a cast on at the Husker camp. I realized he was going to the same high school as me, and that kid was Sam Cotton.”
Your turn, Sam.
“I remember seeing him at that first day of camp,” Cotton said. “He started off at middle linebacker, but that only lasted a few days where he was down to D-end and tight end, just like me. Then we go to special teams, and there he is, long-snapping right next to me, too. So we’ve been every single position the same until we got here.”
Something Cotton and Foster are focusing on this season as the top backups to starter Cethan Carter is being more physical on every play.
“Coach (Barney) Cotton always preaches physicality to us,” Foster said. “At the beginning of last season, our position as a whole, sometimes we got away with not having so much of that. Toward the end of the season we definitely grew a ton.”
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Video: Bo Pelini after practice Thursday