He’s the second all-time leading rusher in Tennessee football history, and he was crucial to the Vols’ SEC East championship in 2007. But Vols fans seem to only remember the key fumbles Arian Foster made.
To be fair, there’s truth to his untimely fumbles. It started in 2005 as he was going into the end zone against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Then there were the two momentum-changing ones returned for touchdowns: in the Outback Bowl against the Penn State Nittany Lions to end the 2006 season with the game tied and against the Florida Gators in a one-possession game in the second half in 2007.
Multiple ones in 2008 against the UCLA Bruins and Auburn Tigers made it worse. And that became all fans remembered from Foster’s time in Knoxville.
However, amidst all of that, there is no denying how productive he was. And that’s why we have to come on here and give him credit.
Foster had some dominant games, particularly en route to the 2007 SEC East title. Remember the Georgia Bulldogs or Kentucky Wildcats that year? Also, while his fumbles all came at key times, they were rare.
Finally, Foster was one of the best team players during his time in Knoxville. He was a key reason that Erik Ainge was only sacked four times in 2007 because of how dedicated he was to blocking. For him, it was about doing whatever was possible to win.
Remember when fans begged for the coaches to use Montario Hardesty or Lamarcus Coker over him? Well only Foster had the successful NFL career. Yes, the 2008 year left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, and it killed Foster’s draft stock. But he, like Ramon Foster, became undrafted stars in the NFL from that team.
So looking back, it’s time to admit Vols fans were too hard on Foster. He made some mistakes at bad times, but he was still a really good player. And that’s why he is underappreciated.