The decision has been made: Texas Longhorns star running back D’Onta Foreman will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft, he announced during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Former Texas RB D'Onta Foreman: "I had a wonderful season, and I feel like it’s time for me to pursue my dream."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) November 30, 2016
The televised announcement confirmed earlier reports that Foreman would turn pro.
After a junior season in which Foreman became the first Longhorn to rush for 1,000 yards since Jamaal Charles in 2007, broke Earl Campbell’s record with 13-straight 100-yard rushing performances and nearly broke Ricky Williams single season rushing record with 2,028 of his own, the decision to leave was to be expected. Despite the allure of potentially following in Williams’ footsteps, who returned to Texas for a senior season and later hoisted the Heisman trophy, an incredibly high draft stock made for an opportunity Foreman couldn’t turn away.
A Doak Walker Award finalist during his breakout season on the 40 Acres, Foreman carried the ball 323 times — the third most in school history — including a school-leading 51 carries in Texas’ 24-21 loss to Kansas, which essentially sealed the deal on Charlie Strong’s future in Austin and ultimately impacted Foreman’s desire to return to school.
Headlined by his 2,028-yard, 15-touchdown junior campaign, Foreman rushed for 2,782 yards and 20 touchdowns at Texas. Foreman’s 2,028 yards in 2016 are the most by a junior in school history and largely aided in Foreman climbing the ranks en route to rushing for the eighth-most yards in school history.
2016 saw Foreman rush for at least 200 yards three separate times, including his 341-yard outburst against in a 45-37 win over Texas Tech, and he rushed for at least 124 yards in each game of his junior season.
Behind his NCAA-leading rushing numbers, including Foreman’s 184.3 yards per game on the ground, the junior was the heart and soul of a revamped Texas offense and a workhorse that carried the ball 182 times during his final five games.
Foreman committed to Texas in 2014 as a three-star prospect ranked outside of the top 1,000 nationally and as the No. 67 running back in his class. Three years later, per ESPN, Foreman is a projected 1st round pick, currently slotted at No. 18 overall and the third-best running back available behind LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook.