Photo via Hunter Cooke, TexasHSFootball.com
D’Onta Foreman was the only Texas Longhorn invited to the NFL Combine. Let that sink in.
Not only is Foreman shouldering the expectations of the Texas capital, but he has carried the hopes and dreams of Texas City since he was a little boy.
“Coming from Texas City — for people that don’t really make it out — I know a lot of people that counted on me and my brother to make it here to this point.” Foreman said. “Ever since we were little kids I heard, “make it to the NFL. Make us proud.” I really don’t think it was pressure… but to some certain extent, it was pressure to get here.”
A standout recruit with the Stingarees, Foreman exploded across the Darrell K. Royal field, accounting for 2,000 yards as a junior and becoming the first consensus All-American back at UT since Ricky Williams; he finished second in the nation in rushing and broke Earl Campbell’s 100-yard rushing streak in 13 consecutive games.
As a student of coach Charlie Strong, the standout rusher left the program shortly after his firing.
“I would say the biggest thing I learned from coach Strong is accountability and responsibility,” Foreman said. “That’s two things he really pushed a lot. And understanding that not everything is going to go your way. You just got to make the best out of your opportunities.”
“I see him come into Texas and in my opinion, I feel like he didn’t have the best shot. I feel like some people didn’t want him to be there. He already started at a disadvantage.”
It’s an observation that many had ever since Red McCombs publicly doubted the hiring and Foreman continues to defend his former mentor. However, the probability of him staying with the Longhorns — even with coach Strong at the helm — is unlikely; rushers have a short career span and Foreman saw his production increase considerably from 95 to 323 attempts.
“Up until my last season, I only got 21 a game in high school,” Foreman said. “So for me to reach 51 in the Kansas game was crazy, but I enjoyed it.”
In the last 40 years, only four Longhorns running backs have been selected in the first three rounds. Because of Foreman’s recent weight-loss, pundits are pegging him as a second-round selection. Originally listed at 250 pounds, Foreman touched down in Indianapolis nearly 20 lbs. lighter, hoping that the reduction would help his agility and explosiveness throughout the week.
“I just had to change my eating habits. Going back to college, I didn’t really have the people telling me what to eat or how to eat certain things.”
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