As the 2018 NFL Draft approaches, former Texas Longhorns wide receiver Armanti Foreman has a perception problem — head coach Tom Herman publicly called him out last season for not working hard enough during practice.
“He was third on our depth chart because he was a really bad practice player, and I’m not telling you anything I haven’t told him,” Herman said in September.
The 6’0, 210-pounder caught five passes and a touchdown in each of the season’s first three games, then didn’t play against Kansas State or Oklahoma and failed to catch passes during games against Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
In the game against the Mountaineers, Foreman’s most memorable contribution was getting called for an offensive pass interference penalty when he failed to run his route behind the line of scrimmage. As a result, the wide receivers who were already blocking downfield were called for the infraction.
To hear Foreman’s twin brother tell it, however, those questioning Armanti’s practice habits have it wrong.
“So yeah, give me a call, but in the meantime here’s the deal: I can tell you straight up that Armanti will give you max effort every time out, the reality is just that my brother is a little bit different in how he goes about his business,” D’Onta wrote in an open letter in the Players’ Tribune. “He’s not the rah-rah type. He likes to observe, and he doesn’t always say a ton. He’s just a really calm and collected guy, and some people, unfortunately, take that to mean that he doesn’t care, or that he’s not serious enough about wanting to be great.”
There’s some support for that argument in terms of how Foreman finished his senior season — he’d earned some playing time against Texas Tech and caught five passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
In the Texas Bowl, Foreman scored the last touchdown on an 18-yard run to put an exclamation point on his Longhorns career and earn a big hug from Herman, his former public critic, just like on Senior Night a few weeks prior.
“The thinking was we wanted to score another touchdown, and we wanted to call a reverse,” Herman said after the game. “We wanted to make sure if we were to call a reverse that it would have been him because he’s a senior and he has played well for us here down the stretch. He deserved it by how he’s prepared and how he’s practiced. My hats off to him. He’s had a really, really good last month of the year. We hope he has continued success. Hopefully playing this game for quite some time.”
Foreman’s big chance to impress scouts came during the Texas Pro Day last month, when he ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, a 4.28 shuttle, and posted a 35-inch vertical leap. While those numbers were hardly poor, he certainly wanted to run a faster 40.
However, he still believes he can help an NFL team.
“I think I can be an explosive playmaker,” Foreman said at Pro Day. “Whether its playing receiver or special teams. I feel like I can be a playmaker and make a difference.”
D’Onta attached a guarantee in his Players’ Tribune piece.
“And I can personally guarantee that if you take a shot on my brother in this draft, you won’t have to worry about him getting after it, or working hard, or doing everything in his power to improve day in and day out.
“Armanti cares as much as anyone I know … he just does it in a levelheaded way that may not be what people are used to. And in terms of drive, we both share the same level of intensity and desire to always be getting better. So if people are saying he doesn’t care or doesn’t take the game seriously, then they must think the same thing about me, too. And I’m telling you right now, that doesn’t fly with me.”