Tracy Foster grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind., playing against Rod Woodson. Foster has grown to become friends with the former NFL superstar and will present Woodson for induction into the Hall of Fame.

Rod Woodson and Tracy Foster were Indiana high school rivals, but they are coming to Canton as best friends.

Foster will present Woodson for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday at Fawcett Stadium.

Recently, Foster explained the start of their relationship to the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, going back to a time when Woodson played basketball for Snider High School, and Foster played for Homestead, another Fort Wayne, Ind., school:

“He says he can beat me one-on-one, and it’s going back and forth, and I say, ‘OK, meet me at Lakeside Park tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.’

“We’re laughing and joking and we shook hands. The next morning, (we both) showed up at 9 o’clock, and we played a few games and sat there and talked. I just knew he was a good guy, and he’s been my friend ever since.”

Over the years, Woodson and Foster became business partners, involved in auto dealerships in Pittsburgh and a motorcycle dealership in Fort Wayne. Foster took a leading role in charitable pursuits tied to Woodson.

“I know Rod going into the Hall of Fame is about him playing football, but that’s such a small part of who he is,” Foster told the Sun-Sentinel. “When I think about Rod, I don’t think about Rod the football player. I think about the person he is.”

Canton Repository