Sophomore running back D’Onta Foreman wasn’t always a part of Texas’ plans.
In the shadow of his more highly touted twin brother, sophomore wide receiver Armanti Foreman, D’Onta Foreman flew under the radar as a high school recruit. His brother received a scholarship to Texas before him. Additionally, many speculated at the time that the Longhorns offered D’Onta Foreman a scholarship just to get his more-decorated brother.
“It was frustrating at first, but I never doubted my ability,” D’Onta Foreman said. “So whatever offer he got, I congratulated him on. Whenever I got offers, he congratulated me.”
Now, D’Onta Foreman is emerging as a key player in the Longhorns’ offense. His physical power style gives the Longhorns a change of pace from senior running back Johnathan Gray. Additionally, his energy and eagerness to improve provides the Longhorns with a much-needed spark.
“D’Onta [Foreman’s] a heck of a back,” senior center Taylor Doyle said. “He runs hard. The first guy is not getting him down. It’s been really fun watching him play.”
D’Onta Foreman is still working to separate himself from his brother. Motivated by his doubters, he’s honed a top-flight work ethic. Head coach Charlie Strong said that D’Onta Foreman is his favorite Foreman brother because of his blue-collar attitude and style.
“It’s all about work for [D’Onta Foreman],” Strong said. “[He’s a] big, old, strong physical back, runs behind his pads. He’s hard to tackle once you get him in the open field.”
The extra work is starting to show up on the field. D’Onta Foreman’s racked up 211 yards on 44 carries for a 4.8-yard average and scored two touchdowns this season. He also averages a stellar 5.5 yards-per-carry on first-and-10 attempts. With an emphasis on winning first downs, his ability to pick up big yards to start drives is key.
D’Onta Foreman had a career day on Saturday at No. 2 TCU while churning out 112 yards on 18 carries. He also picked up nearly half of Texas’ 20 first downs with seven conversions and three coming on third-downs. His breakout performance not only earned his coaches’ trust, but he now boasts extra belief in himself as well.
“It gives me a lot of confidence,” D’Onta Foreman said. “I always have confidence in myself, always feel like I can perform like that. But just actually going and doing it and showing people, I just have a lot of confidence, and I’m ready to go out this week and do the same thing, if not better.”
With Gray struggling, the Longhorns will look to get D’Onta Foreman more involved going forward. His ability to pick up yards after contact goes a long way in stabilizing the Longhorns’ young offense, especially with a redshirt freshman quarterback at the helm. Additionally, his skill set is starting to show up in the passing game, with four catches for 52 yards in his last two games.
D’Onta Foreman will have another opportunity to make an impact against No. 10 Oklahoma’s inconsistent run defense. The Sooners have surrendered at least 100 yards to an opponent’s running back in three of their four games this season. If D’Onta Foreman can replicate his production against Oklahoma, the Longhorns might find themselves hoisting the Golden Hat this Saturday.
“I’m just going out there and, whenever they call my number, do the best of my ability,” D’Onta Foreman said. “I just [have to] work hard and do what I’m supposed to do.”