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D’Onta Foreman: NFL Bound

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NCAA Football: Baylor at Texas Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE: Per today’s press conference, D’Onta will be forgoing his senior season and entering the NFL Draft for 2017.

UPDATE UPDATE: Per D’Onta’s dad again, Foreman met with Coach Herman this morning and an official announcement on his future will be forthcoming:

UPDATE: Per D’Onta’s dad, Foreman has met with several agency groups but won’t be signing with anyone until he has set down with coach Tom Herman to talk about his future. That could just be courtesy on D’Onta’s part, but...c’mooooooon, Tom!

In his inaugural press conference, Tom Herman said that talking with junior running back D’Onta Foreman would be one of the first items on his to-do list. He may not get the chance, as Foreman has reportedly selected professional representation and opted to enter the 2017 NFL Draft:

If D’Onta has indeed signed with Select Sports, that’ll be all she wrote for his time at Texas.

Foreman will depart the 40 Acres as the Longhorns’ 9th-all time leading rusher with 2,782 career yards, and his ability to burst through holes and blast defenders has blasted his image onto the Mount Rushmore of Longhorn running backs alongside Earl, Ricky and Jamaal (with Ced Benson and a pre-injury Roosevelt Leaks in contention).

No program from sea to shining sea can boast a power/speed trio to match Earl, Ricky and D’Onta, and Foreman’s feet and vision improved every year on campus to make him an absolutely devastating weapon as the Longhorns’ undisputed offensive MVP in 2016.

While getting him to stick around would have been a major boon for Texas’ 2017 fortunes and the biggest early recruiting win possible for Tom Herman, making the move to the League was the right call for Foreman’s future. Setting aside superfreaks like Emmitt Smith and Adrian Peterson, runners tend to have limited shelf lives and big backs don’t always age gracefully. He could potentially have improved his draft stock by returning for his senior season, as there’s some terrific talent atop the RB draft board for 2017 and refining his backfield receiving skills and cleaning up some pesky fumble-itis could have further endeared him to NFL GMs. With that said, he’s still looking at a solid shot to go in the back half of the second or mid-third round, and under the current rookie salary structure there’s no longer a massive financial difference if you don’t end up as a Thursday selection. The name of the game in the NFL is maximizing your second contract, and most guys find themselves facing renegotiation or release before the back-end funny money on that second deal finds its way into their pockets. Starting the clock a year early and getting into that second deal a year younger should prove to be a long-term financial boon, to say nothing of ducking the injury risk of a 2017 college campaign.

If we’ve seen the last of D’Onta at Texas, we got to enjoy some of the best running we’ve ever seen in a Longhorn uniform and a vastly better career than anyone anticipated from an unheralded two-star recruit.

Good luck in the League, big man, and I’ll be working my own GM skills to nab you in my Dynasty leagues.