In his first year as an upperclassman, ASU’s biggest hometown hero, D.J. Foster, leads a promising group of Sun Devil running backs into 2014.
Of all of the players in the Sun Devil program, D.J. represents the most to the legion of fans in the valley of the sun, and perhaps the national fan base as well. His commitment to ASU on January 24, 2012 in front of his teammates, friends, family and media was met with “half-gasp half-exhilaration” by everyone in the room and any Sun Devil fan with a smartphone who follows the college football recruiting business.
In recent years, the program has watched a majority of the state’s most coveted recruits “defect,” and leave town seemingly for greener pastures. Fans knew we had a good chance for D.J.’s commitment, but Cal and USC were right there in the room with us, and they had plenty to sell. So when D.J., after thanking everyone for their support, proudly put that Sun Devil snap-back on, it changed everybody’s outlook and hope for change.
As good as a football player as D.J. has been, the fan’s emotional attachment to him and his allegiance to Arizona State has been just as strong, kind of like he’s our own kid.
But D.J. is now a man, the man.
(D.J.) weighs 203 lb.s. He has less body fat, he jumps higher, and he runs faster in all of his drills.
Coach Graham and Mike Norvell plan on getting the ball to Foster more than twenty times per game. Marion Grice, last year’s featured back, averaged 22 touches in the 11 games he played before an injury. As good as Grice was in most aspects of the game, especially finding the end-zone, D.J. could be even better.
As reported in Jeff Alba’s article, DieHard Projections for Sun Devil Running Back D.J. Foster in 2014, here are D.J. Foster’s and Marion Grice’s total figures for the games each played as the Sun Devils primary running back in 2013. We have also provided the projected figures for each had they been ASU’s featured back over all 14 games.
Due to his shiftiness and speed, which was recently clocked at 4.39 in the 40 yard dash, D.J. Foster’s propensity for break-away plays for touchdowns can change the outlook of a game in seconds. At home, they supercharge Sun Devil Stadium and on the road, they deflate opposing fan bases. Foster has also added 20 pounds since arriving at ASU.
The ASU Devils Den had strength & conditioning coach, Shawn Griswold on their show. “Griz” said this about D.J., “We just looked at a picture of D.J. from when he arrived in 2012 and today. He came in at 183 lb.s, and now he weighs 203 lb.s. He has less body fat, he jumps higher, and he runs faster in all of his drills.”
What You Should know about D.J.’s Sophomore Campaign
He was the one and only running back in the nation to finish in the top-100 in receptions
For the second straight season, D.J. Foster was second on the team in all-purpose yards with 1,170 yards, including 25 explosive plays (12+ yds on the ground, 20+ yards through the air). What’s more, 34% of the time that Foster touched the ball, the Devils got the first down.
When Grice’s season ended by injury in the UCLA game, Foster took the wheel. In the Territorial Cup, he got the ball 25 times– 23 carries/ 124 yards and 2 receptions/ 26 yards with 2 scores.
In the Pac-12 Championship against Stanford, Foster came out early in the second half with a knee injury. Still he had 8 carries/ 62 yards and 4 catches/ 80 yards along with 2 breakaway TD’s of 51 and 65 yards.
In the Holiday Bowl, Foster had 25 touches— 20 carries/ 132 yards, 5 catches/ 23 yards and one touchdown. He finished his sophomore season with 93 carries for 501 yards and 63 receptions for 653 yards for a total of 1,154 all-purpose yards. He also found the end zone 10 times.
D.J. Foster’s 63 receptions in 2013 made him the one and only running back in the nation to finish in the top-100 in receptions.
D.J. was recently quoted as saying that he considers his new role in 2014 to be a new chapter in his life. After all, #8 is now the man.
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