In 2007, athlete Rudy Burgess completed an impressive career at Arizona State. In his bio, ASU describes Rudy as, “one of the most versatile athletes and one of the top all-purpose threats in the nation… having played wide receiver, tailback, cornerback, kickoff and punt returner..”
Five years after Burgess graduated, another dynamic athlete named D.J. Foster took Frank Kush Field. In just two years at ASU, Foster has also made a name for himself.
Let’s compare these Sun Devils to get a perspective on both athletes.
Rudy & D.J. – Freshman Year
In 12 games, Burgess carried the ball 77 times for 404 yards (5.2 avg) with no touchdowns. In Foster’s freshman campaign which included 13 games, he ran the ball 102 times for 493 yards (4.8 avg) and 2 scores.
Through the air Burgess had 22 catches for 248 yards (11.3 avg) and 5 scores. Foster had 38 catches for 533 yards (14 avg) and 4 touchdowns.
Rudy & D.J. – Sophomore Year
In 2005, Rudy Burgess had his coming out party in 12 games for the Maroon & Gold. The dynamic sophomore carried the ball 145 times for 644 yards (4.4 avg) and 6 scores.D.J. Foster
Last season in which he played in all 14 games, sophomore D.J. Foster showed steady improvement from his freshman year across virtually all categories. #8 rushed 93 times for 501 yards (5.4 avg) and 6 TD’s.
Through the air, Burgess caught 59 passes, accumulating 655 yards (11.1 avg) with 4 trips to the end zone. Foster caught 63 passes for 653 yards (10.4 avg), also scoring 4 touchdowns.
While Rudy Burgess holds the distinction as one of college football’s most versatile players, he was unfortunately hampered by injury his junior year. In his senior season, Rudy bounced back. Coach Dirk Koetter used him mostly in the slot where he caught 34 passes as opposed to just 6 carries. That year, #3 gained nearly 1,000 yards from scrimmage, 976 to be exact.
A notable difference between Rudy Burgess and D.J. Foster is on special teams, and Rudy reins supreme. He returned 99 kicks and punts in 4 years, collecting 1,750 yards. His younger counterpart has returned a single kick for 16 yards.
D.J. Foster’s body is still filling out. He’s put on another 10 lbs, now weighing 205, and he’s looking to add a few more while maintaining his quickness. Should he stay healthy in his upcoming junior season, D.J. could very well be at his best. It could be that his first two years in Maroon & Gold were simply a prelude to what’s coming this season.
Maybe in 5 years (hopefully sooner) we’ll be comparing the next great athlete to D.J. Foster and his accomplishments at ASU. Perhaps D.J. is just warming up.
Check out our comparison of Sun Devil receivers Jaelen Strong and Derek Hagen.