TYLER – The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler announced Wednesday D’Onta Foreman, RB, University of Texas, as the recipient of the 2016 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award presented by Earl Campbell. Foreman received the award at The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Banquet at Willow Brook Country Club.
“I’m honored to present the award to D’Onta Foreman,” Earl Campbell said. “The votes were close because all of these players had an amazing season. We were proud to be able to present the award to D’Onta. It takes on a special meaning this year as well because it is the first athlete from my alma mater, University of Texas, to win the award.”
A junior from Texas City, Texas, D’Onta Foreman put together one of the most successful seasons for a running back, not only in school history, but in NCAA history, during the 2016 season.
Foreman played in just 11 games, totaling 2,028 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns for the Longhorns. He became Texas’ third winner of the Doak Walker Award, in addition to being a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 performer and consensus first-team All-American.
He joined Ricky Williams (1998) as the only two players in school history to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season. He was just the 12th Power 5 running back in NCAA history to rush for 2,000 yards prior to a bowl game, joining the likes of Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, Rashaan Salaam, Byron Hanspard and Melvin Gordon.
Foreman rushed for at least 124 yards in all 11 games in 2016, finishing 10th in NCAA history with an average of 184.4 yards per game. He has rushed for 100 yards or more in 13 consecutive games, a school record and the longest active streak in the nation. His eleven 100-yard games in 2016 also tied Earl Campbell’s (1977) single-season school record.
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.
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.
Perhaps his best football came in a four-game stretch was 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. Foreman is the first Longhorn since Jamaal Charles in 2007 with more than 1,000 yards rushing in a season. D’Onta’s 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 25th among FBS players.
Also present at the banquet were the award sponsors, which include: City of Tyler, Brookshire Grocery Company, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System, Clements Fluids Management, Patterson Commercial Property Group, R.W. Fair Foundation, TDI Air Conditioning/James and Sharon Wynne, Chesley and Ted W. Walters, Austin Bank, Azalea Orthopedics, First Bank & Trust East Texas, Southside Bank, Texas Spine and Joint Hospital, Tyler Morning Telegraph, Prothro, Wilhelmi & Co., Tyler Junior College, and the University of Texas at Tyler.
The other four finalists for the award were:
Jalen Hurts, Alabama, QB, Freshman – Channelview, Texas (Channelview HS) – SEC
Patrick Mahomes, II, Texas Tech, QB, Junior – Whitehouse, Texas (Whitehouse HS) – Big 12
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB, Junior – Austin, Texas (Lake Travis HS) – Big 12
Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, WR, Senior – Cameron, Texas (Cameron Yoe HS) – Big 12
THE EARL CAMPBELL TYLER ROSE AWARD
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, announced in 2012 by the Tyler Chamber and SPORTyler, recognizes the top offensive player in Division 1 football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community, and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals.
In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four year D1 Texas college.
The voting committee co-chaired by Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman, and Phil Hicks, Tyler Morning Telegraph, included 34 broadcasters, commentators, and journalists from across the country as well as fans and the previous winners, Bryce Petty (2013), Trevone Boykin (2014), and Greg Ward Jr. (2015).