Texans running back Arian Foster is a finalist for three 2011 ESPY Awards, which honor the best athletes and moments of the past year in sports. Online voting ends this Saturday, July 9, at 10:59 p.m. CT. LINK | Video: Foster Top 100
Foster is one of only two athletes to be nominated in three categories, along with hockey goalie Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins. He's a finalist for Breakthrough Athlete, the Castrol Edge NFL Strongest Performance Award and Best NFL Player.
In the Breakthrough Athlete category, Foster – who went from an undrafted practice squad player in 2009 to the NFL leader in rushing yards (1,616), yards from scrimmage (2,220) and touchdowns (18) in 2010 – is up against baseball's Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, basketball's Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and women's tennis player Li Na of China.
In the Castrol Edge NFL Strongest Performance Award category, Foster is nominated for his 231-rushing yard, three-touchdown game against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1. That performance is up against a four-interception game by Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall and a two-touchdown game by Seattle Seahawks kick returner Leon Washington.
In the Best NFL player category, Foster is competing with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The last time a Texans player won an ESPY Award was in 2007, when rookie quarterback Jared Zabransky was honored for his college exploits at Boise State. The 2011 ESPYs will air live on ESPN on Wednesday, July 13, at 8 p.m. CT.