Arian seeks redemption

Tennessee tailback Arian Foster still has an upbeat personality and a quick wit. But he was unusually focused and determined during spring practice. Basically, he ran like a man possessed ... which he was.

Foster was possessed by a bad memory he is determined to exorcise – his crucial turnover in the Outback Bowl last January. With 10 minutes to go and the score tied at 10, Tennessee appeared headed for the go-ahead touchdown. Penn State's Tony Davis scooped up a Foster fumble and raced 88 yards the other way, however, spurring the Nittany Lions to a 20-10 victory.

Rather than mope about the mishap, Arian Foster proved his mettle by facing the media after the game and openly discussing his costly miscue.

"I think he met every one of the guys that wanted to talk to him on the field after the game," Phillip Fulmer recalled earlier today at his annual media golf outing. "He answered every question, and there were some tough ones. We were going in to win the game, and the turnover ended up being a 14-point swing. But he's taken that tough, adverse situation and turned it into a motivating factor."

Indeed. Foster taped a photo of his Outback Bowl fumble to his locker and touched it each day last spring as he prepared for practice. The ploy worked. The 6-1, 225-pound junior had his best spring as a Vol and enters preseason drills listed No. 1 at tailback.

"He played in spring practice like a man," Fulmer said. "And I'm expecting great things from Arian."

The head man also expects big things this fall from the other two members of Tennessee's tailback trio – LaMarcus Coker and Montario Hardesty.

"LaMarcus Coker is a guy that certainly has big-play potential," Fulmer noted. "We're looking for consistency from him, on and off the field. He has shown some maturity during the last part of the summer, so I'm expecting good things from LaMarcus.

"Montario Hardesty is an exciting back. And, for the first time, he's going into a fall 100 percent healthy."


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