When D'Onta Foreman was selected by the Houston Texans, the emotion of landing back in his home state and close to his home in Texas City took over. Foreman, who locked down the 2017 Doak Walker Award after a 2016 season in which he rushed for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Texas Longhorns, immediately thought of two important influences for him during his time in Austin.
During his draft conference call with Houston media, Foreman related the impact former Texas running back and Heisman winner Ricky Williams and Foreman's former head coach Charlie Strong had on his success while at Texas.
Williams took Foreman under his wing, mentoring and motivating him. The new Texans running back was clearly grateful for the time he spent with Williams in Austin.
“I love Ricky so much, man. He’s been so great to me,” Foreman explained of his feeling for Williams. “Great mentor, great leader to me. He’s somebody that I can call and talk to any time and he gives me great advice. For him to say those words, it’s a blessing and I thank him.”
Foreman took off for the Longhorns after Chris Warren suffered a knee injury against Oklahoma State and, from that point, he took over the offense. Foreman tied Texas’ legendary running back Earl Campbell for 11 straight 100-yard rushing performances and set a school record for 13 straight 100-yard games to finish the season.
Former Texas Longhorn head coach Charlie Strong came to Foreman’s mind in that post-draft selection media call, and Foreman expressed gratitude toward his coach for giving him a chance to play with the Longhorns. One of the many phone calls that Foreman received was from Coach Strong and he was happy that he received that call.
“He just called me and congratulated me and said he was happy for me,” Foreman stated. “I told him that I appreciate everything he’s done for me and even my brother and that I can’t thank him enough. I wish him well at his new school.”
Foreman took plenty from his time at Texas but accountability was the biggest thing that he learned from Strong during his three years with him.
“Coach Strong was somebody that’s a great person. He taught me a lot, just how to be accountable and responsible for the things that you do,” Foreman said. “I always was accountable for the things that I’ve done, whether it was good or any mistakes that I ever made, I was always accountable for them. I just always want to go fix them as fast as I could. I can’t thank him enough.”
The work ethic that Strong instilled in Foreman proved big, especially after Texans general manager Rick Smith relayed the impact of Foreman getting in the car to arrive in Houston at 6am (READ HERE) for the Texans local pro day after working out for another NFL team the day before made in the team selecting him in the third round. The influence of Williams and Strong proved big for Foreman and that drive helped in him landing him in the NFL with the Houston Texans.