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Arian Foster

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Subject: 2010 Houston Texans season, List of Houston Texans awards and honors, List of Houston Texans Pro Bowl selections, 2011–12 NFL playoffs, 2012–13 NFL playoffs
Collection: 1986 Births, African-American Agnostics, African-American Atheists, African-American Players of American Football, American Atheists, American Conference Pro Bowl Players, American Football Running Backs, American Former Muslims, American Players of American Football of Mexican Descent, American Sportspeople of Mexican Descent, Houston Texans Players, Living People, Players of American Football from New Mexico, Sportspeople from San Diego, California, Tennessee Volunteers Football Players, Undrafted National Football League Players
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Arian Foster

Arian Foster
Foster playing for the Texans in November 2010
No. 23     Houston Texans
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-08-24) August 24, 1986
Place of birth: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 227 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school: San Diego (CA) Mission Bay
College: Tennessee
Undrafted in 2009
Debuted in 2009 for the Houston Texans
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2014
Rushing yards 6,091
Average 4.5
Rushing TDs 53
Stats at

Arian Isa Foster (born August 24, 1986) is an American football running back for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Tennessee. He was signed by the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2009, and was added to their active roster from the practice squad on November 17, 2009. Foster is known for his vision in finding rushing lanes and his signature Namaste bow, which he frequently performs after scoring touchdowns. Foster holds the Texans franchise records for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He is considered one of the best running backs in the league.[1]


  • Early years 1
    • High School 1.1
    • High School statistics 1.2
  • College career 2
    • College statistics 2.1
  • Professional career 3
    • 2009 NFL Draft 3.1
    • Houston Texans 3.2
    • Career stats 3.3
    • Texans franchise records 3.4
  • Personal life 4
    • On the Big Screen 4.1
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early years

Foster was born August 24, 1986 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Carl Foster, a former wide receiver for the University of New Mexico, and Bernadette Sizemore, an administrative assistant for the university.[2][3] Foster’s father, Carl, signed with the Denver Broncos in 1982, was not able to make it through the summer, and never actually made it to the NFL.[4] Carl and Bernadette had an another son Abdul, who was also an athlete. He ran track in high school and in college at Florida A&M. According to The Sporting News, Abdul is one of Arian’s biggest fans to this day, watching “every snap of every game Arian has ever played.”[5]

Foster’s mother encouraged him to set foot on the football field at the age of 7. This was much to the dismay of Foster’s father, an ex-wide receiver himself. As a former player at a high level, Carl was not supportive of the idea of his son entering the sport at such a young age. Foster took to the game; when his elementary school teacher asked him the classic “what do you want to be when you grow up?” he answered, with full intent on achieving the goal of becoming “a star in the NFL.”[6]

High School

Foster competed in football during his freshman and sophomore years at Valley High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His parents divorced in 2000, and in 2002 he moved to San Diego, to be with his father. Foster competed in football at Mission Bay Senior High School, where he initially played as a linebacker, but became a full-time running back in his senior year. He was Mission Bay's featured running back that year, and led San Diego County in all-purpose yards with 2,500 while compiling 2,093 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns in addition to six scores on kickoff returns.[7] In a game against Clairemont, Foster ran for 321 yards and for his efforts, he was named San Diego Union Tribune All-San Diego Western League Player of the Year, received All-West Region appointment by PrepStar, and also earned All-California Interscholastic Federation honors.[7] Then-Tennessee offensive coordinator Randy Sanders and running backs coach Trooper Taylor were impressed by Foster when recruiting in San Diego.[8] Foster chose to attend Tennessee and was part of the 2004 signing class.

Foster also competed on the track & field team as a sprinter and high jumper. He recorded personal-bests of 11.24 seconds in the 100 meters, and had a top-jump of 1.90 meters in the high jump. He was also a member of the 4x100m (44.20 s) relay squad.[9]

High School statistics

Source: [1]

Note: Incomplete
Season Team GP Rushing Att Rushing Yds Yds/G TD
2003 MBHS 9 174 1,596 9.2 177.3 17

College career

Foster red-shirted his first season as a University of Tennessee Volunteer, sitting behind Gerald Riggs Jr. and Cedric Houston on the depth chart. He was a three-year starter at running back for Tennessee.

In his 2005 freshman season, Foster earned the starting job following an injury to Riggs. Foster rushed for 879 yards in his limited action, including a commanding 223-yard performance against Vanderbilt.[10] Foster scored two touchdowns in the game, and his total of 268 all-purpose yards was the third-highest total in school history.[10]

His sophomore season of 2006 saw a slight downturn in production, as Foster was limited for the majority of the season with injuries and missed games against Marshall and Memphis. Splitting time with LaMarcus Coker after returning from injury, Foster ended the season with just 322 rushing yards.[11] Tennessee's final game of the season was the 2007 Outback Bowl, in which Foster fumbled with ten minutes remaining deep in Penn State territory.[12] The ball was picked up by cornerback Tony Davis and returned 88 yards for a touchdown, breaking a 10–10 tie and providing the winning points in Penn State's 20–10 victory.[12]

On November 4, 2006, Foster and two reserve players were arrested following a fight in a night club and were charged with disorderly conduct and underage consumption.[13]

Arian Foster dives over the pile to score.
His junior season of 2007 saw Foster take over as the main back, with Montario Hardesty coming in as a substitute. Against Florida, Foster fumbled a left-handed hand-off from injured quarterback Erik Ainge which was recovered by Gators linebacker Dustin Doe and returned eighteen yards for a touchdown.[14] Up to that point Tennessee had been gaining momentum and pulled to within eight points of tying the game, but the botched play made the score 35–20 and triggered a 24-point Florida run to close out the contest.[14] Foster surpassed the 1,000-yard mark with a 118-yard performance in a 52–50 win at Kentucky, and finished his junior season with 245 carries for 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns, while also catching 39 passes for 340 yards and an additional two scores.[11]
Foster carrying the ball while evading an attempted tackle

Foster's breakout junior season resulted in a second-round grade[15] from the draft advisory board and led him to consider leaving school. However, head coach Phillip Fulmer persuaded him to stay for his senior season, a decision Foster would later deeply regret.[16] Playing under the third position coach and offensive coordinator of his tenure,[8] Foster was utilized in a rotation following the installation of a new offensive scheme that the Tennessee coaches thought was a better fit for some of the other running backs on the roster.[11] For his part, Fulmer would attribute Foster's diminished workload to knee and thigh injuries which would later be disputed.[8] In the end, Foster compiled just 570 yards on 131 carries with only one touchdown in his senior season.[11]

Foster's subpar senior campaign caused his draft stock to plummet, as well as scouts' concerns about his below-average pass-blocking, issues with ball security and the less-than-stellar reviews from Tennessee staff members that portrayed him as selfish and hard to coach.[17] A pulled hamstring also prevented Foster from working out at the NFL Scouting Combine, then he had a poor showing at Tennessee's Pro Day when he registered a 4.71 40-yard dash, 4.50 short shuttle, 32-inch vertical leap and 9′7″ broad jump.[17] The combination of factors led to Foster being undrafted at the 2009 NFL Draft; after several teams showed interest in him as a rookie free agent, he chose to sign a contract with the Houston Texans in May 2009[18] because he thought the situation suited him.[17]

Foster finished his collegiate career as Tennessee's second all-time leading rusher with 2,964 yards, just 114 behind [8]

College statistics

Source: [2]
Rushing Receiving
Season Team GP Att Yds Avg Yds/G Long TD Rec Yds Avg Long TD
2005 TEN 11 183 879 4.8 79.9 66 5 14 148 10.6 39 0
2006 TEN 11 91 322 3.5 29.3 24 5 11 88 8.0 15 0
2007 TEN 14 245 1,193 4.9 85.2 59 12 39 340 8.7 65 2
2008 TEN 12 131 566 4.4 47.5 41 1 19 166 8.7 26 0
Total 48 650 2,964 4.6 61.8 66 23 83 742 8.9 65 2

Professional career

2009 NFL Draft

Foster ranked 24th among running backs available in the 2009 NFL Draft, according to Sports Illustrated.[19] Although projected as a fifth-to-sixth rounder, Foster went undrafted.[20]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1 in 226 lb 4.68 s 1.62 s 2.71 s 4.53 s 7.09 s 32 in 9 ft 7 in 23 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Houston Texans


Foster was signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2009. He was later released on September 5, 2009, but then was signed to the Texans' practice squad on September 6 and signed to the active roster on November 17. Foster made his NFL debut against the Tennessee Titans on November 23, 2009 and played on special teams. He scored his first NFL career touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in Miami on December 27, 2009 on a 17-yard run up the middle in the second quarter of the game.[21] Foster then made his first career start against the New England Patriots on January 3, 2010 and posted his first career 100-yard game, rushing for 119 yards and scoring twice on 20 carries.[22]

Overall Foster played 6 games, starting in only 1, during the 2009 season finishing with 257 yards and 3 touchdowns. [23]

A Dallas Cowboys defender pushes Foster down in a 2010 game.

On opening day in 2010, September 12, Houston played the Indianapolis Colts. Foster replaced Steve Slaton, the 2009 starting running back, and broke many franchise records, rushing 33 times for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns.[24] In addition to breaking the record for the most rushing yards by a player of the Houston Texans in a single game, he and Slaton combined for 260 rushing yards, well over the team record for most total in a game, and also the most rushing yards given up to a single player by the Indianapolis Colts. Foster also posted the second-highest NFL opening day rushing total, trailing only O.J. Simpson's 250 yards in 1973. During week 4 on October 3 vs. the Oakland Raiders after being benched for the 1st quarter, Foster recorded the longest run in Texans franchise history when he scored on a 74-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter to break a 14–14 tie. Houston went on to win 31–24 behind Foster's 187 yards from scrimmage. After being passed up in rushing yards by Jamaal Charles during the Chiefs last game of the regular season, Foster posted another stunning performance rushing for 180 yards and 2 TD to solidify his spot as the 2010 rushing leader. Foster finished the 2010 season by winning the rushing title with 1,616 Rushing yards and 604 receiving yards breaking the record set by Priest Holmes for most yards from scrimmage ever by an undrafted player. He was invited to the 2011 Pro Bowl, which was his first Pro Bowl.


Foster strained his hamstring twice during the 2011 preseason – at one point creating controversy due to his tweeting of an MRI image of the damaged tendon[25] – resulting in his missing the Texans' opening day game versus the Colts.[26]

Foster returned in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, but after carrying the ball ten times for 33 rushing yards in the first half, he missed the remainder of the game due to a re-aggravation of the hamstring.[27]

Foster missed Houston's Week 3 game at New Orleans, but returned to face the Pittsburgh Steelers the following Sunday. Against Pittsburgh Foster ran the ball 30 times for 155 yards, including a 42-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run that proved to be the winning points in the Texans' 17–10 victory. In what was his tenth career 100-yard game, Foster's total of 155 yards was the second-most by a running back against the Steelers defense since 2001, and the most since Curtis Martin tallied 174 versus Pittsburgh in December 2003.[28] Additionally, his 42-yard touchdown was the longest scoring run allowed by the Steelers since 2006.[28]

The Texans squared off with the Raiders in Houston in Week 5, just a day after legendary Raiders owner Al Davis passed away. Foster had a tough time generating yards on the ground, tallying just 68 yards on 22 carries.[29] It was as a pass-catcher that Foster shone against Oakland, catching just five passes for 116 yards, including a career-long 60-yard reception in the third quarter. A last-minute rally by Houston fell short when quarterback Matt Schaub was intercepted in the end zone as Houston fell, 25–20.

In Week 6, the Baltimore Raven's stout defense proved a challenge for Foster as he was limited to just 49 yards on 15 carries in a decisive 29–14 loss. Foster continued to contribute in the passing game, however, catching six passes for 52 yards in the losing effort.

Foster exploded in Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans, rushing for 115 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries while accumulating 119 yards receiving and another touchdown on five catches. This helped the Texans en route to a 41–7 victory over their division foe and established them as the division leader; Foster's 234 total yards fell just short of his personal best of 238, which he registered on Opening Day of the 2010 season versus Indianapolis.

Foster followed up his career-day against Tennessee with a solid performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In a tough, ball-control type of game, Foster equaled his career-high in rushing attempts with 33, totaling 112 yards on the ground. In a nod to Foster's prolific pass-catching in recent weeks, the Jaguars limited Foster to just one catch for 12 yards out of the backfield in Houston's 24–14 victory.

He was invited to the 2012 Pro Bowl, which was his second Pro Bowl invite.[30]


On March 5 the Texans reportedly reached a deal with Foster, deciding he was worth up to $43.5 million over 5 years.

On October 8, in a Monday Night Football game against the New York Jets, Foster reached 5,000 yards from scrimmage (rushing yards+receiving yards) in his 40th game, becoming the third-fastest player to reach 5,000 yards to do so, only behind Edgerrin James (36 games) and Eric Dickerson (39 games).[31] On December 23 against the Minnesota Vikings, Foster left the game in the third quarter with an irregular heartbeat. Foster was announced the starting Running Back in the AFC Division for the 2013 Pro Bowl. This is the 3rd Pro Bowl he will be invited to.[32] He ended the season with league-high 351 carries and 15 rushing touchdowns, and earning him No. 8 on NFL Top 100 Players of 2013, rising from 25 the previous season.[33]


Foster injured his back in August before the regular season even started, which limited his preseason play. But he was able to play in the first 8 weeks of the regular season. Foster was not physically able to complete the 2013 season, but during the time that which he played, Foster had 121 carries, advancing the ball for a total of 542 yards, and had a touchdown in their second game of the regular season in which they beat the Tennessee Titans. He left the game in week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs due to a calf injury, and then in week 9 had to leave the game they lost to the Indianapolis Colts with a season ending back injury. The injury would require surgery for a ruptured disk in Foster’s lumbar spine.[34][35]

Dr. Robert Watkins performed surgery on Foster to fix a bulging disk in his back on November 13, of 2013 in Los Angeles at the Marina Del Rey Hospital. Foster had tried to play through the injury in the game against the Indianapolis Colts, the day he injured his back, and then tried to avoid surgery. But, after speaking with multiple doctors and specialists, Dr. Watkins included, he decided to undergo the surgery. Foster made it his goal after this devastating injury and surgery to enter the 2014 season as a healthy contributor to the Texans once again. He demonstrated day in and day out in the training room, during his recovery, that he was on the right track to do so.[36][37][38]

Career stats

Source: [3]
Career Rushing Receiving
Season Team GP Att Yds Avg Yds/G Long TD Rec Yds Avg Long TD
2009 HOU 6 54 257 4.8 42.8 24 3 8 93 11.6 20 0
2010 HOU 16 327 1,616 4.9 101.0 74 16 66 604 9.2 50 2
2011 HOU 13 278 1,224 4.4 94.2 43 10 53 617 11.6 78 2
2012 HOU 16 351 1,424 4.1 89 46 15 40 217 5.4 23 2
2013 HOU 8 121 542 4.5 67.8 23 1 22 183 8.3 41 1
Total 59 1,131 5,063 4.5 85.8 74 45 189 1,714 9.1 78 7

Texans franchise records

  • Most career rushing yards (4,521)
  • Most career rushing touchdowns (52)
  • Most rushing yards in a single season: 1,616
  • Most rushing touchdowns in a single season: 16
  • First player in NFL history to have 100+ rushing yards in his first 3 postseason games

Personal life

As was documented on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, Foster was a philosophy major at the University of Tennessee and is an avid writer of poetry.[16] Foster's first name is an abbreviated form of Aquarian, which means "water bearer," or (according to his father) "holder of knowledge."[8][39] His father is African American and his mother is Mexican American.[40]

The Sporting News called Foster, “The most interesting man in the NFL.” Arian became a vegan in July 2012. Though this did not last very long, and he did not completely stick to it, his diet was a very interesting subject to the media for a period of time. This was his statement regarding his diet: “I just like to eat healthy, man. That whole vegan thing, a lot of people are really interested in my food… I’ve had meat since I’ve said I don’t eat meat anymore. I like to stay with the plant-based foods, but every now and then, I’ll eat (meat).” [41] Foster also revealed his political affiliation during an NFL game, stating he is "in the Green Party", and voting for Ron Paul in the 2012 Presidential election. Ron Paul ran for the Republican Party nomination in 2012.[42] He guest-starred as himself on "The Game" episode of Hawaii Five-0 aired on February 18, 2013. Foster appeared in the 2014 film Draft Day, playing running back Ray Jennings.

On January 13, 2014, it was reported that Foster was sued by 20-year old Brittany Norwood, a University of Houston student.[43] She alleges she became pregnant by Foster and the woman further alleged that Foster and/or Foster's family members subsequently pressured her to have an abortion.[44]

On the Big Screen

From a young age, Foster expressed a creative interest in activities outside sports, such as poetry in elementary school,[6] and later improvisation and theater in high school.[45] Foster first appeared on the big screen as a guest star of the show Hawaii Five-0 in an episode that takes place during the Pro Bowl. He plays himself, aiding Danno and McGarrett as they solve the murder of a tech executive, while he is in town for the game.[46] After getting injured in the 2013 season, Foster joined the cast of the movie Draft Day, to play a running back getting drafted into the NFL. He got to work alongside the stars Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Terri Crews, Kevin Costner, and many other celebrities, for the film that came out in April 2014 [45] Foster remains dedicated to his sport but has not ruled out the possibility of partaking in an acting job once again if it does not interrupt his career as an athlete in any way. In an interview on the subject he states, “I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences in the film industry thus far. So I don't see why, if an opportunity presents itself again, I wouldn't jump on it, but it won't get in the way of my football career because that's first and foremost. That was my dream since I was seven years old.” [47]


  1. ^ McCurdy, Jim. Arian Foster bows to show respect. ESPN. September 19, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  2. ^ Farmer, Sam (September 17, 2010). "Texans' Arian Foster followed his dream: Undrafted running back had spectacular debut with Texans".  
  3. ^ Farmer, Sam (September 15, 2010). "Texans' Arian Foster has always been confident in his abilities". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ a b "Arian Foster". University of Tennessee Football. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Unorthodox Foster provides Texans with dynamic RB". The Houston Chronicle. September 17, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "FOSTER RUSHES FOR 223 YARDS, 2 TDS, AS VOLS FALL TO VANDERBILT 28–24". November 19, 2005. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Arian Foster Stats". ESPN. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Hunt runs for 158 yards as JoePa wins 22nd bowl". ESPN. January 1, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  13. ^ Three Vols arrested, suspended : Fanblogs College Football Blog
  14. ^ a b "Tebow tosses two TD, runs for two more in rout of Tennessee". ESPN. September 15, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Vols' Foster to return for senior season". ESPN. January 15, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Texans' Foster is yards from ordinary". The Washington Post. September 19, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b c "Scout Talk: Arian Foster". National Football Post. September 19, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  18. ^ Cerebral' Houston RB Arian Foster goes from undrafted to unstoppable"'". Fox News. September 16, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  19. ^ "View Draft by Positions". CNN. 
  20. ^ "SI Grade". CNN. 
  21. ^ "USA Today: Texans vs. Dolphins Box Score". USA Today. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  22. ^ Houston Texans: Arian Foster
  23. ^ Arian Foster, RB for the Houston Texans at
  24. ^ IND/HOU Boxscore 09/12
  25. ^ "Arian Foster tweets MRI of hamstring, gets instant diagnosis". Shutdown Corner (Yahoo Sports). August 31, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Arian Foster inactive along with Peyton Manning". USA Today. September 11, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Arian Foster reinjures hamstring". Pro Football Talk. September 18, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "Texans-Steelers postgame notes". Houston Texans- Blog. October 2, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  29. ^ " Oakland @ Houston Gametracker". October 9, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  30. ^ Foster, Joseph earn 2012 Pro Bowl invitations, Houston Texans, December 27, 2011.
  31. ^ Arian Foster third Fastest to 5,000 yards, lifts Texans past Jets, Knox News, October 9, 2012.
  32. ^ Adelson, Eric (2012-12-23). "Arian Foster health scare, missing offense lead to boos, questions for Texans".  
  33. ^ Top 100 players of 2013 - Arian Foster
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ [4]
  40. ^ "Arian Foster makes his own way",, October 16, 2011.
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Cincinnati at Houston". NFL Sound FX. 2012-01-07. NFL Network.
  43. ^ Woman claims Texans RB Arian Foster is pressuring her to abort his baby
  44. ^ Arian Foster Sued -- He Tried to Force Me Into Abortion ... Woman Claims
  45. ^ a b
  46. ^
  47. ^

External links

  • Houston Texans bio
  • Tennessee Volunteers bio
  • ESPN Profile
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