Junior running back D’Onta Foreman has burst onto the Heisman scene with his breakout campaign this season.
The junior running back has run wild through opposing defenses, ranking No. 1 in the nation in yards per game and No. 9 in rushing touchdowns. And to top it off, Foreman reached over 100 yards on the ground for the 11th straight week in Saturday’s loss to West Virginia, tying Earl Campbell’s school record.
Foreman has let his teammates do the talking for most of the season regarding the nation’s top prize. But he addressed the idea on Tuesday, telling the media he deserves to be sent to New York for the Heisman ceremony on Dec. 10.
“I feel like I have the numbers to be there,” Foreman said. “I’m just as good as those guys they have up there right now.”
While Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has distinguished himself as the outright favorite to win the award, Foreman isn’t far behind on watch lists.
Foreman’s statistics this year compare favorably to last season’s Heisman winner Derrick Henry, who took home the prize while playing for national champion Alabama. The Texas City product has over 350 yards more than Henry through his first nine games last year, and he will get a chance to pile on the yards against 1–9 Kansas on Saturday.
Despite Foreman’s Heisman hopes, offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert said he will not go out of his way to pad rushing stats. Gilbert will continue to coach Texas’ remaining two games based on the scoreboard, not Foreman’s stat sheet.
“[Foreman] would rather have the win than the numbers,” Gilbert said. “If we’re fortunate enough for him to have those kind of numbers that’s just icing on the cake.”
But Foreman may not have to rely on his offensive coordinator through the rest of the year. If he continues to put up similar numbers to what he’s done over the past nine games, Foreman may be well on his way to New York at the end of the season.
“I’m excited for the people that do have me in the race,” Foreman said. “For the people that don’t, that just adds to my fuel.”