TYLER, Texas – Running back D'Onta Foreman was named a finalist for the 2016 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award in early December, and on Wednesday night he will be one of five players recognized at a reception. He is looking to become the first Longhorn, and also the first non-QB, to win the award which started in 2013.
Foreman will join other players in Tyler, Texas on Wednesday, when the winner will be announced. He joins Alabama QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes II and Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook as the five finalists.
Foreman was second in the nation with 2,028 rushing yards and rushed for at least 124 yards in all 11 games he played, finishing 10th in NCAA history with an average of 184.4 yards per game. He rushed for 100 yards or more in 13 consecutive games to end his UT career, eclipsing Campbell's previous school record of 11 straight. Foreman owns the longest active streak in the nation. His eleven 100-yard games in 2016 also tied Campbell's (1977) single-season school record.
The Texas City, Texas native rushed for 150 yards seven times in 2016, including three games with at least 250 yards, all against Power 5 opponents. No other running back had more than one game of 250 yards of rushing against a Power 5 opponent. All 11 games he played in this season came against Power 5 opponents. He averaged 193.3 yards per game against Big 12 Conference foes, totaling 1,740 yards and 12 touchdowns in nine league games.
In total, he rushed for 15 touchdowns and had a streak of seven consecutive games with a rushing touchdown come to an end against Kansas State. It was tied for the 10th-longest streak in school history.
Perhaps his best football came in a four-game stretch when he rushed for 1,008 yards on 151 carries in a span of 22 days. The stretch began against Baylor, who entered the game undefeated and ranked inside the top 10. Foreman totaled a career-high 250 yards on 32 carries and two touchdowns against the Bears to knock them from the ranks of the unbeaten. The very next week, Foreman rushed 33 times for 341 yards – third-most in school history and the most in the country this season. He became just the third player in school history, and first since Hodges Mitchell in 2000, to rush for at least 200 yards in back-to-back games.
Following a 167-yard performance against West Virginia, Foreman once again hit the 250-yard mark on the road at Kansas. His 250 yards in the game against the Jayhawks came on a school-record 51 carries.
The first Longhorn since Jamaal Charles in 2007 with more than 1,000 yards rushing in a season, Foreman began the season against No. 10 Notre Dame, rushing 24 times for 131 yards and a game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. After missing a game against UTEP – the Longhorns' only Group of 5 opponent – Foreman was back on the field against California. Despite splitting carries prior to Chris Warren III's season-ending injury at Oklahoma State, Foreman racked up 157 yards and two touchdowns against the Golden Bears.
As the Longhorns' season moved into conference play, Foreman began with a 148-yard and two touchdown effort, despite missing the last 20 minutes of the game against Oklahoma State due to an injury. The next week, while nursing an injury, the junior nearly led the Longhorns to a victory in the Red River Showdown against Oklahoma. Despite UT coming up short, Foreman had 159 yards and two scores on 25 carries.
Over the final seven games of the season, Foreman would receive 30 carries or more six times, including setting a new career high in four straight games. He totaled 278 rushing attempts in nine Big 12 Conference games. His 1,297 rushing yards during the second half of the season (his final six games) would have led the Big 12 Conference in rushing for the entire season and finished 29th among FBS players.
The award, which is named after 1977 Heisman Trophy and Longhorn for Life Earl Campbell, is given annually to the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits enduring characteristics that define Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity. It addition, it is limited to players who were born in the state of Texas, attended a Texas high school or attended a Texas junior college or university.
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