At some point, the story starts getting repetitive.
Running back gets disrespected, then proves the critics wrong.
For Texas Longhorns running back D’Onta Foreman, that’s been happening for several years now, starting with his ranking as a two-star prospect by Rivals and lack of interest on the recruiting trail and culminating most recently in being ignored by national writers throughout the summer.
The latest chapter includes 288 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries this season, putting Foreman in first place in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards.
And that’s even though the 6’0, 241-pounder missed the game against UTEP due to a groin injury that hasn’t succeeded in slowing him down otherwise.
In the season opener against Notre Dame, Foreman wasn’t able to break off any of the massively long runs that characterized his best moments from 2015. However, his 19-yard touchdown run on 3rd and 5 in the fourth quarter tied the game and featured a broken tackle near the line of scrimmage, making it one of the plays of the game.
And even though the truly explosive plays weren’t there, Foreman still averaged 5.5 yards per carry against a good defense.
In total, the junior finished with 24 carries for 131 yards and that key touchdown, while also providing big blocks in the 18-Wheeler package as senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes rumbled for three rushing touchdowns.
Against Cal, Foreman proved just how crucial he is to the offense in scoring two touchdowns on 21 carries that went for 157 yards. Once again, he came through in crunch time, breaking through traffic and racing 47 yards for a touchdown to give the ‘Horns the lead early in the fourth quarter.
All of a sudden, that No. 5 ranking among Big 12 running backs in August is starting to look a little bit low.
The conference’s No. 2 player in those rankings, Iowa State’s Mike Warren, has been off to a slow start, just like the 0-3 Cyclones — he gained only 25 yards on 12 carries in the first game against Northern Iowa and is averaging 3.6 yards per carry overall.
Baylor’s Shock Linwood, who came in at No. 3 on that list, ranks third on his team in rushing yards. Big back Terence Williams can break more tackles than Linwood and speedy redshirt freshman JaMycal Hasty possesses the explosiveness that has always rather eluded Linwood.
As for the No. 4 running back? Baylor’s Johnny Jefferson isn’t with the Bears right now because of an injury and personal reasons.
Even Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine, the easy choice for No. 1 on the list, hasn’t had a spectacular season — he’s been banged up and not at his normal level of effectiveness as the Sooners have fallen to two highly-ranked opponents.
Apologies for the repetitiveness, but D’Onta Foreman is once again proving his doubters wrong.