Too bad for him, the incredibly athletic Armanti Foreman had other ideas.
It was sometime during Foreman’s senior season at Texas City (Texas) High School when Foreman made one of the most athletic plays Texas City head coach Leland Surovik had ever seen.
“He was playing defense as a cornerback and the quarterback tried to throw the ball out of bounds,” Surovik recalled. “Armanti went up from in bounds, went out of bounds about two and a half yards, caught the ball in mid-air and threw it back to the linebacker that was in bounds and he ran down and scored a touchdown.”
Process that in your mind for just a second.
First of all, to have the athletic ability to even attempt to pull something off like that is something to marvel at. But to have the presence of mind to throw the ball back in bounds is something very few players would even comprehend, much less pull off.
“That kind of exemplifies his ability,” he said. “To be able to get the ball and then to have the strength and the vision to be able to tip it back to a linebacker was exceptional.
“I know I couldn’t get up that high and wouldn’t have the wherewithal and body control to spin in mid air and flip the ball back to somebody. It was exceptional.”
That’s just the type of play Surovik grew accustomed to seeing, and somewhat expected, from Foreman, a Texas freshman that has shown flashes of explosiveness in limited action.
Surovik also distinctly remembers a time when he sent an all-out block on punt return that Foreman turned into highlight-reel touchdown.
“In fact we tried to block the punt so there wasn’t much blocking and he reversed field about three times and took it to the house.”
“There was a punt return that he ran that was exceptional,” he said. “In fact we tried to block the punt so there wasn’t much blocking and he reversed field about three times and took it to the house.”
The question Longhorns fans want to know is when will Foreman start showing that type of athletic ability at UT?
Texas is desperate for playmakers and difference-makers on offense, and Foreman appears capable of being that guy in an offense that is averaging just 18.4 points per game.
On his first touch of the season Foreman took a double-reverse 29 yards against Kansas, though, he did fumble the ball out of bounds. He later had a 7-yard reception against the Jayhawks.
Against Baylor, he only touched the ball one time and gained 11 yards on the ground.
Why isn’t he getting more touches? Quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson said last week that he, like most freshmen, wasn’t yet “assignment sound.”
Texas doesn’t let freshmen talk to the media so we can’t get Foreman’s thoughts on not seeing more playing time. But Surovik tends to agree with Watson.
“Going from the high school level to the college level, there is always a transition, a lot different schemes, a lot different technology, and sometimes that takes time to get settled in,” he said. “In my opinion kids play slow until they grasp the game. Once they grasp it, it allows them to play faster. I told him it might take him some time to grasp all the concepts and all of the terminology. I think he is very capable of doing it and as soon as he learns I think he’ll be an exceptional athlete for UT.”
It was a conversation that Surovik had with Foreman during fall camp that makes him think his former player will get to that point sooner rather than later.
“He told me ‘Coach it’s OK if they redshirt me because there are a lot of things I need to learn.’”
“He told me ‘Coach it’s OK if they redshirt me because there are a lot of things I need to learn.’ He wants to be a gamer,” Surovik said. “He wants to know what he’s doing. He wants to be the person you want to get the ball to. There are a lot of things he needed to learn and that meant to me that he grew up a lot.
“Going from being on the field every down, it’s kind of hard and humbling for a kid to say, ‘It’s OK if I get redshirted’ and ‘I’ll be good in the long run.’ That told me he grew up a lot and he’s going to make a difference for UT.”
With the redshirt out the window and Texas in desperate need for playmakers on offense, Foreman’s roll should increase by the week. He could be in line for an even heavier workload depending on the results of an MRI Daje Johnson took for his hamstring on Sunday.
“He is a gamer. He knows how to take it and push himself,” Surovik said. “He wants the ball in his hands in all facets of the game. Once he becomes comfortable with their offensive schemes and their special teams schemes, he’ll be a very big impact player for him.”
Here are Foreman’s senior highlights
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