D’Onta Foreman is aware of the history he’s chasing.
Foreman has rushed for 855 yards on 141 carries this season, and he has scored eight touchdowns. Foreman ranks third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing yards per game, and he is 11th in rushing yards and 33rd in yards per carry.
Foreman is the Big 12’s leading rusher, and the junior from Texas City is coming off a performance against Kansas State in which he ran for 124 yards. The outing caught the attention of two former Longhorns who are now starring in the NFL.
@D33_foreman putting on for the Longhorns & the #409…I want to be like him when I grow up!
— Jamaal Charles (@jcharles25) October 22, 2016
— Earl Thomas (@Earl_Thomas) October 22, 2016
Foreman has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his last eight games, which is the second-longest streak in school history. Earl Campbell had 11 straight 100-yard games in 1977, and Foreman’s next three games are against the defenses from Baylor (159.5 rushing yards per game), Texas Tech (219.7) and West Virginia (158.5).
Foreman is also just 145 rushing yards shy of Texas’ 23rd 1,000-yard season. Jamaal Charles was the last Longhorn to rush for 1,000 yards, and the Kansas City Chief accomplished that feat in 2007.
“Right now, I’m just trying to find ways to help this offense and try to win ball games,” Foreman said. “I’m proud of my accomplishments, I can’t sit up here and say that I’m not. But the big focus right now is to try to find a way to win these games.”
Foreman earned 24 of Texas’ 38 rushing attempts in the 24-21 loss to Kansas State, and freshman Kyle Porter was the only other non-quarterback to carry the football (Porter gained a yard on his solitary attempt). Texas is still looking for a replacement for sophomore Chris Warren III, who was averaging 5.9 yards per carry before he injured his knee against Oklahoma State on Oct. 1.
Who will step up alongside Foreman? Porter has rushed 29 times for 116 yards this fall, and fellow freshmen Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Tristian Houston have previously been named as candidates for carries. Comparing the freshmen to Warren, though, is “comparing apples to oranges,” argued Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert.
“What we expect and what we want from that next guy is just production and being able to be productive,” Gilbert added. “That’s not comparable to Chris because that’s not fair. Chris was a dynamic guy, and that’s a hard guy to replace especially with a true freshman. What we want to do is be productive, lean on (Foreman) and find other ways to get some yards.”
Foreman said he has taken on a mentorship role with Porter, much like Texas Exes Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown did with him. Foreman said that despite a minimal workload against Kansas State, an inquisitive Porter still watched film with him on Sunday.