Two Oklahoma Sooners running backs. Two Baylor Bears running backs. An Iowa State Cyclones running back.
Despite finishing second in the Big 12 in yards per carry, Texas Longhorns running back D’Onta Foreman couldn’t manage to break into the top five players at his position in the conference this season, according to ESPN this week.
None of the inclusions above Foreman are particularly egregious.
Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine is a record-setting back who led the conference rushing touchdowns last season and amassed over 1,300 yards.
Baylor’s Johnny Jefferson led the conference in yards per carry and Shock Linwood was right behind Foreman.
Iowa State’s Mike Warren had trouble finding the end zone (five rushing touchdowns), but nearly matched the yardage of Perine.
And this isn’t even anything new — throughout the summer, members of the national media have overlooked Foreman, who burst onto the scene with his game-clinching 81-yard run against the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl and then scored on a 93-yard run against the Jayhawks, one of the longest runs in program history.
But that’s what makes this all so confusing. No other player in Texas history has had two runs of 80 or more yards in the same season. No player in the conference made more out of every run than Foreman except for Jefferson.
Of course, the fact that the Longhorns couldn’t stay on the field enough or even use Foreman as a focal point of the offense didn’t help. Nor did the fact that he missed the last two games of the season and Texas failed to qualify for a bowl game.
However, the fact remains that Foreman, and sophomore Chris Warren, are arguably the two most explosive runners in the conference, at least by one metric:
Top Big 12 RBs based on breakaway percentage (think: long runs)— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) July 24, 2016
1) D'Onta Foreman
2) Chris Warren III
We see you, Smash Brothers! #HookEm
Both players need to stay healthy and continue to produce at the same level with more carries this season, but at least someone is willing to put some respeck on the names of the Smash Brothers.
As for the rest of the media, Foreman and Warren will just have to continue to earn it the hard way.
Sad thing is, it’s like the media didn’t learn anything from Foreman proving everyone wrong out of high school.