He ran for over 2,000 yards last season, picked up the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s best collegiate running back and was a consensus All-American.
But Texas' D’Onta Foreman said Thursday in Indianapolis he still has a lot to prove.. Specifically: he has speed to burn and good hands.
“How fast I am and that I can catch the ball well,” Foreman said. “That's two of the biggest questions. 'How fast is he?' and 'can he catch out of the backfield?'”
Unfortunately for Foreman, a medical exam revealed a stress fracture in one of his feet. He put up 18 reps in the bench press Thursday, but was unable to participate in the running drills on Friday. He's expected to be ready for Texas' Pro Day in Austin on March 28.
As a junior last autumn, Foreman paced the Longhorns offense with just over 184 yards per game. He rumbled for 15 touchdowns, and rushed for 124 yards or more in every single contest he played. Foreman picked up 250 yards apiece against Baylor and Kansas, and punished Texas Tech with 341 yards in an early November victory in Lubbock.
At 249 lb, Foreman forced a lot of second and third level defenders into business decisions. I saw defensive backs not only stay engaged on blocks but re-engage on blocks with receivers to avoid having to tackle the big fella in burnt orange. He came out of nowhere to star for the Longhorns in 2016, but his style is tailor-made for the next level. He’s not going to run 4.4, but he runs well, probably in the 4.5 range, which is more than adequate for a back his size. The first name that comes to mind is Patriots LeGarrette Blount, but the more I watch, Foreman is better laterally and more agile. Then, I thought about Bengals star Jeremy Hill. Once I had Hill in my sights, it really fit as a player comparison for Foreman. He’s a decisive, downhill runner as you’d expect but he did carry it a ton last year. Are the tires worn a bit or is he just getting started?
He was thrown to just seven times for 75 total yards last season, and explained the lack of production as a receiving back.
“It's just something they did not call on me to do, so that was just it,” Foreman said. “It wasn't my role on the offense, my role was to block and run the ball hard when they called my name so I have great confidence in my ability to catch the ball and I can't wait to show that.”
Foreman and his twin brother Armanti were standouts in high school as Texas City Stingarees, and played together in Austin for three years. Succeeding the way he did last fall, and with an NFL future in front of him has only strengthened his family and hometown pride.
“I have a lot of wonderful people in my family; in Texas City a lot of people don't make it out,” Foreman said. “I know a lot of people counted on me and my brother to make it to this point since we were kids, make it to the NFL, make us proud, make Texas City proud, stuff like that. I don't really feel like it was pressure but to some extent it was pressure. To get here; to put my city on the map and also be able to also reach the level others couldn't reach come from there.
Foreman said his father is a Houston Texans fan, but that the whole of his family is split between the Cowboys and Texans. He’s straddled the line in fandom, but is prepared to play for whichever team drafts him in late April.