Arian Foster Is The Gold Standard For Undrafted Free Agents

July 8, 2011 – 10:30 am by Chris Fedor

Arian Foster was overlooked while he was at the University of Tennessee. Then he was overlooked by all 32 teams in the NFL Draft. Then, even after he was signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent, he was still fighting the numbers game and trying to climb his way to the top of the depth chart. After his breakout campaign in 2010, Arian Foster will never be overlooked again. Foster led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns and even though it was just one season, he emerged as one of the best running backs in the league.

Up until this point Foster has proven a lot of people wrong. He has shown that he is one of the best running backs in the league, he has shown that he deserves to be the lead ball-carrier for the Texans, and he is finally getting the recognition he has always wanted. Now it is up to him to make sure he continues down that path and doesn’t go in reverse in 2011.

Arian Foster joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego with Darren Smith to talk about the NFL lockout, whether or not he sees a resolution coming soon, what things would’ve been like for him if he was an undrafted player in the middle of a lockout, if he feels like he can be a positive example for undrafted players, and what it means for him to be nominated for an ESPY.

On the lockout possibly coming to an end soon:

“It could go either way man so I try not to put too much energy into it. This is part of the business man. This is the business I chose to make my career so I just have to roll with the punches. Either way there is nothing that I can do so it’s out of my hands, I can’t control it so I’m just working out, staying in shape, and being ready just in case.”

How things would’ve been different if he went undrafted in the middle of a lockout:

“I’ve thought about that and I’ve kicked that around. There’s no telling where my life would be. As far as the undrafted guys now, it’s gonna be tough, real tough because you don’t know where your home is yet. You don’t know where your home could be yet. That’s the business that we chose. It’s a tough reality but at the end of the day it’s reality. Those guys are going to have a long journey to where they want to go. I think the thing that they have to keep in my mind is that it is a journey, it’s not a destination. It’s not the end of the road. Just keep working and stay focused. I’m a firm believer that hard work pays off. I don’t care what you do, it will pay off. It’s going to be tough because they don’t have the opportunity of OTA’s, minicamps or things like that to kinda showcase what they can do in front of the coaches. It’s gonna be tough but they just have to stay focused.”

Whether or not he feels like he can be an example for other undrafted players in the NFL:

“I think that’s kinda one of my goals as a human being is to inspire people. If my inspiration comes from the football field then so be it. In this instance it does. So when I guy looks at me and says I can do it because he did it then I’m all for it. They have to understand that it didn’t just happen.  I don’t think anything just happens. If you’re successful it’s rarely, rarely luck. It’s rarely. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of man power, and a lot of hours that you put into your craft. Once somebody gets that, understands that, and implements that into their own life then their life changes for the good. Going back to your point it feels good being able to inspire and I try to live my life to be a vessel for truth and for hard work because it does pay off.”

On being nominated for an ESPY:

“It means a lot for me to be nominated. It’s a certain amount of respect that people have gained for your game and that’s why I play this game. I play this game for the respect factor. I’m not necessarily into winning this award or any award that I’m nominated for because I’m kinda self-vindicated. I’ve talked to a guy like Ray Lewis and he has really been a big inspiration for me this past offseason. We have talked a lot and we have kept in touch. He told me that he loves the way I play the game. When a first-ballot Hall-Of-Famer tells me they love the way I play the game, that’s the biggest award I could’ve possibly gained. It means more to me than any ESPY. Honestly. I will be honored if I win but I won’t be crushed if I don’t.”

Listen to Arian Foster on XX Sports Radio in San Diego here

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