Charlie Strong, then the first-year head coach of the Texas Longhorns, wasn't quite aware of it yet, but he was receiving a perfect pair of recruits for his first class at Texas in Armanti and D'Onta Foreman.
What makes this 2014 package deal the perfect pair, outside of the fact that the city they hail from is named after the state and university they currently represent?
One could start with the reality that the twin brothers have been a pair since, well, birth. Or you could throw in the very strong possibility that both will become key cogs in a Texas offense seeking a high-octane resurgence -- Armanti's an explosive sophomore wide receiver and his brother D'Onta, also a sophomore, is a big, physical running back in line for a starting job once senior Johnathan Gray's time at Texas ends.
Armanti and D’Onta are a pair that could have very easily found themselves in a color other than burnt orange, whether it be together, or finally separated after playing on the gridiron alongside each other their entire lives. Unlike Armanti, who was a much more coveted recruit, holding offers from a multitude of prolific programs, D’Onta was a three-star recruit with far fewer offers. As one might expect, it was a difficult process that left a chip of D’Onta’s shoulder as a Longhorn.
"It was frustrating at first but I never doubted my ability, so whatever offer he got I congratulated him on; and whenever I got offers, he congratulated me," D'Onta said this week. "I feel like I have a lot more to prove. I haven't shown all my ability yet, so hopefully I can show it this season. "
It was certainly a different recruitment path for the two, but the result ultimately remained the same. But the recruitment, and of course, their size – Armanti stands at 5’11, 204 pounds, compared to the 6’0, 241-pound D’Onta – is about as far as their differences go, and both will attest to that.
"Besides our size, our personality is the same," Armanti said of his relationship with his brother. "We are always together. He's always in my room. We play the game together we talk about everything. We just have a great bond."
It’s a bond that translates just as well to the football field. During fall camp, D’Onta was showing tremendous signs of improvement, and that development influenced his brother, according to head coach Charlie Strong.
"I think that what has really helped him is D'Onta, where his brother has come on, and he's playing well," Strong said. "So now you can see with both of those guys, and you look at two twins, they're both seeing that they are contributing, and they're having a lot of fun."
While Foreman hasn’t necessarily reaped the statistical benefits of an offseason of dedication and improvement, his brother certainly seems to be well en route to a breakout season. But this was to be expected after Armanti concluded last season with a 45-yard touchdown reception against Oklahoma State and another 73-yard touchdown against TCU.
After the Longhorns' sputtering offense in the season opener against Notre Dame led to Jerrod Heard taking the reins as Texas’ new quarterback against Rice, Armanti once again came up big, hauling in a 32-yard heave for Heard’s first career TD pass.
Video: Jerrod Heard's first career TD pass. 32-yarder to Armanti Foreman http://t.co/24RcAF8lm0— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 13, 2015
D'Onta's success hasn’t been quite as substantial, but his six carries for 23 yards and a TD make for arguably the best performance of his young career.
Of course, the fan favorite nod would likely go in favor of Armanti and his big-play ability thus far, but hard works goes a long way with coach Strong, the guy whose favor matters most, and D’Onta has the edge on his brother in that regard.
"D'Onta because D'Onta works and I always tell Armanti he has a lot of ability, he just don't always play up to his level," Strong said when asked which Foreman twin was his favorite. "But D'Onta, it's all about work for him; just a big strong physical back and runs behind his pads and he's hard to tackle once you get him in the open field."
Want some evidence of that strength in the open field? Check out this stiff-arm that D'Onta used to discard a helpless Rice defender in the first quarter last Saturday:
Gray is first in line for more carries as the Texas offense seeks to run more plays and control the clock, but Foreman has a combination of speed and physicality that Gray can't match, giving him substantial upside.
And despite any favoritism by the head coach, both Armanti and D’Onta look to be an considerable part of a Longhorns team looking to redefine itself. And despite both having such limited experience, it shouldn’t be long before the Foreman twins are a pair Texas fans everywhere are familiar with.