Foster sticks by decision to stay

Tailback Arian Foster can’t help but wonder what might have happened if he’d opted to leave Tennessee for the NFL instead of returning for his senior season.

“It’s human to second-guess yourself, but it doesn’t get you anywhere,” Foster said. “I’ve done it. Of course I have. I probably would have done it if I’d left anyway. But you just got to stick by your decision. You’re a man, and you made a decision and you have to live with it.”

It hasn’t been easy for Foster, who began the season 684 yards shy of Travis Henry’s career rushing record of 3,078 yards.

Heading into Saturday’s season finale against Kentucky in Neyland Stadium (TV: ESPN2, 6:30 p.m.), Foster needs 174 yards to pass Henry. Aside from a career-best 223-yard performance as a freshman against Vanderbilt in 2005, Foster has topped 140 yards in a game twice.

Foster, who received a second-round grade from the NFL’s draft advisory board last season, posted a season-high 100 yards rushing against UAB.

Since then he’s averaged just 39.4 yards per game and missed UT’s 13-7 homecoming loss to Wyoming with a deep thigh bruise before returning to rush for 53 yards against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

What’s more, Foster was part of two of the most damaging plays in UT’s 4-7 season.

Foster fumbled inside UCLA’s 10 with a chance to go up 21-7 in an eventual overtime loss to the Bruins in the season opener. He was also part of a botched exchange that Auburn recovered in the end zone for what proved to be the winning touchdown in a 14-12 loss Sept. 27.

“I guess it’s kind of disheartening when you look back on the season,” said Foster, who has a team-high 511 yards on 110 carries this year and one touchdown. “I came back to try to help this team win, and I just didn’t do that. I wanted to help this team win, and I really didn’t get the chance.”

However unlikely the odds might be for Foster to break Henry’s record, guard Anthony Parker said it’s still on the radar.

“It’s been a rough road for all of us, but he’s still standing tall and still fighting for the next day,” Parker said of Foster. “I appreciate that, and the rest of the guys do, too. We just want to go out Saturday and if at all possible get that record broken.”

Kelly Downplays Job Talk: Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly called talk of a possible move to Tennessee “a non-issue.” According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Kelly told his lawyers to “keep this stuff off my desk. I don’t want to deal with it. I’m focused on Cincinnati.”

The Bearcats can clinch the Big East championship and the program’s first BCS bowl berth with a victory Saturday over Syracuse.

“We’ll deal with any of this stuff after the season, if in fact I decide that’s what I want to do and right now that’s not what I want to do,” Kelly said when asked if he would entertain offers after the season, according to the Enquirer.

Injury Update: Cornerback Dennis Rogan will have X-rays on an injured thumb, but “it’ll be fine, I think,” UT coach Phillip Fulmer said.

Tailback Montario Hardesty, who did not practice Sunday because of lingering soreness, is expected to practice today.

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 86

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

Sorry he didn't get to go out in a blaze of glory instead of the negative controversy going on now.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Thank Your O-line or better yet the dumb .ss coach that got them out of sync

hotrodvol writes:

I think everyone will be glad when this mess is over with.

lewhs93#205993 writes:

I just read where we lost Oku.By next month our once top class will be gone.Sad

invisiblekid writes:

Foster has made plenty of mistakes over his career but there isn't any good reason to slam the kid at this point, although I am sure that will be coming soon enough by others.

Hope he does well at the next level.

FWBVol writes:

Let me get this straight, people that complained about CPF and wanted him gone are now complaining that a recruiting class he was building is starting to fall apart.

I was one who thought Fulmer should have been given another year. But I accept Mike Hamilton's decision and understand the logic behind it.

I think the new coach will be named Monday, or a week from Monday, following the different conference championship games. The new coach should generate some excitement on the recruiting front and bring in some good prospects even if he isn't able to recover some of the kids that have decided to go elsewhere.

Everyone is getting impatient now about who the new guy will be, but Clemson has been in a holding pattern longer than we have. I'd rather take a few extra weeks and get the right guy for the long term future even if it means next year is not a good as we would want.

bsc819 writes:

As far as the new coach is concerned, supposedly it is already a done deal with Lane Kiffin, who is going to bring in Ed Orgeron in as a D coordinator or D line coach. Those 2 guys are supposed to be big time recruiters anyways. The announcement is supposedly going to go down on Monday after the Kentucky game.

Sidewinder writes:

Foster did what he could with the offense that was handed to him. I'm glad he stuck around. He is a class act and I hope him well in the NFL.

ncvol17 writes:

Thanks Foster for all your contributions..Too bad you couldn't have an O line to get you the record. Good luck in the NFL...

LiveFaith writes:

I'm no NFL scout, but who on earth sits on a draft board telling Foster he was a 2nd rounder? It must be full of UA & UF alumni or something.

I love the kid's attitude and work ethic, but he is just plain slooooooow. How many times in the past 2 years has the MLB or OLB shot thru the gap to drop Foster from behind nullifying an easy 5-10 yard gain. To many to count.

Has a nice stiff arm and good size, but can't run over anyone and certainly can't shake anyone. Looks like a decent receiver and can block pretty well. I just don't see how he gets on the field in the NFL after watching ANY NFL team and their 2nd and 3rd stringers running with abandon.

No doubt he shoulda took a signing bonus while available, but I can't see a roster spot for the life of me. Maybe Detroit? :-D

FWBVol writes:

in response to bsc819:

As far as the new coach is concerned, supposedly it is already a done deal with Lane Kiffin, who is going to bring in Ed Orgeron in as a D coordinator or D line coach. Those 2 guys are supposed to be big time recruiters anyways. The announcement is supposedly going to go down on Monday after the Kentucky game.

Kiffin I can live with, but I hope the Ed Orgeron talk is just that, talk. He might be a great recruiter, but he was a complete jerk as head coach of Ole Miss.

There are plenty of great recruiters out there that will do our school proud. Keep Chief as the DC or let Kiffin bring his dad, Monte, with him to coach defense. Please anybody put EO.

ncvol17 writes:

in response to bsc819:

As far as the new coach is concerned, supposedly it is already a done deal with Lane Kiffin, who is going to bring in Ed Orgeron in as a D coordinator or D line coach. Those 2 guys are supposed to be big time recruiters anyways. The announcement is supposedly going to go down on Monday after the Kentucky game.

A real Q: from where does this type of info originate?How could someone know not only the HC but who he will pick (and accept)as a coordinator? Was that a prerequirement of the HC job, know your coordiantor b4 you have the signed contract?

invisiblekid writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Let me get this straight, people that complained about CPF and wanted him gone are now complaining that a recruiting class he was building is starting to fall apart.

I was one who thought Fulmer should have been given another year. But I accept Mike Hamilton's decision and understand the logic behind it.

I think the new coach will be named Monday, or a week from Monday, following the different conference championship games. The new coach should generate some excitement on the recruiting front and bring in some good prospects even if he isn't able to recover some of the kids that have decided to go elsewhere.

Everyone is getting impatient now about who the new guy will be, but Clemson has been in a holding pattern longer than we have. I'd rather take a few extra weeks and get the right guy for the long term future even if it means next year is not a good as we would want.

People need to go ahead and look past recruiting this year. It's almost a given that it takes a hit with any coaching change. Whoever comes in will do very well to salvage a top 15 class when it is said and done.

Many of the guys who have jumped ship to this point were somewhat shaky on their committments anyway. And there isn't a thing wrong with that, signing day isn't until February. I like to see guys who are ready to bleed Orange, but it's a different game from years gone by.

Just my opinion though.

volfan_in_mississippi writes:

in response to bsc819:

As far as the new coach is concerned, supposedly it is already a done deal with Lane Kiffin, who is going to bring in Ed Orgeron in as a D coordinator or D line coach. Those 2 guys are supposed to be big time recruiters anyways. The announcement is supposedly going to go down on Monday after the Kentucky game.

If that is the case, why wait on announcing? Neither Kiffin nor Orgeron have current obligations that would prohibit announcing now and getting them on the recruiting trail. Doesn't seem to be the most likely of scenarios.

Slystone writes:

In the immortal word of Fred G. Sanford, "You Big Dummy"!!

dvols writes:

hmmmmm...

jdogg44 writes:

Leach from Tex Tech or why not Utah's current coach?

tnbigg writes:

in response to ncvol17:

Thanks Foster for all your contributions..Too bad you couldn't have an O line to get you the record. Good luck in the NFL...

Agree...

ctownvol writes:

Bama987 is mean to old folks and little kids. He also kicks cute little puppies. And I think he's gay. Not there's anything wrong with that. I'm just sayin'...

cjraney writes:

in response to volfan_in_mississippi:

If that is the case, why wait on announcing? Neither Kiffin nor Orgeron have current obligations that would prohibit announcing now and getting them on the recruiting trail. Doesn't seem to be the most likely of scenarios.

Coach O is the D-line coach for the Saints. And he's the man...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX7wzh...

ChattVol2485 writes:

I looked into my Big Orange crystal ball tonight and saw Arian Foster in the NFL. He was on the sideline pouring cups of Gatorade for the other players, like Mark Richt's wife.

I heard from a very reliable source within the UT Athletic Department and a few boosters that a deal has already been made. The new coach has already assembled his staff and the announcement should come within the next week, most likely after the Kentucky game. I was pretty surprised when I heard who it was because the guy wasn't on anyone's list.

UT's new coaching staff will look a little like this....(drum roll please)...Hayden Fox (HC), Luther Horatio Van Dam (Off. Co.), Dauber Dybinski (Off. Line and Running Backs), Bud Kilmer (Def. Co.), Charlie Tweeder (Special Teams), Burt Reynolds (QB's and WR's), Lee Corso (Def. Backs) and Sinbad (TD Dance Co.).

murrayvol writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Kiffin I can live with, but I hope the Ed Orgeron talk is just that, talk. He might be a great recruiter, but he was a complete jerk as head coach of Ole Miss.

There are plenty of great recruiters out there that will do our school proud. Keep Chief as the DC or let Kiffin bring his dad, Monte, with him to coach defense. Please anybody put EO.

Orgeron joins a long list of busts as an SEC HC. I think he was a pretty good posistion coach at USC and a great recruiter which is why Ole Miss hired him.

He just got above his raisin'.

west_tn_volfan writes:

in response to bsc819:

As far as the new coach is concerned, supposedly it is already a done deal with Lane Kiffin, who is going to bring in Ed Orgeron in as a D coordinator or D line coach. Those 2 guys are supposed to be big time recruiters anyways. The announcement is supposedly going to go down on Monday after the Kentucky game.

What has Kiffin done? He recruited to SoCal but they were going to play for Carroll not Kiffin. He got fired a couple of years into the Oakland job and had a losing record there. Some say no one could win with Al Davis but that doesn't prove that Kiffin would have won minus Al Davis. I would just like for someone to tell me what he has done that I'm missing. Seems like UT should be able to get a HC that has a winning record somewhere.

west_tn_volfan writes:

in response to ChattVol2485:

I looked into my Big Orange crystal ball tonight and saw Arian Foster in the NFL. He was on the sideline pouring cups of Gatorade for the other players, like Mark Richt's wife.

I heard from a very reliable source within the UT Athletic Department and a few boosters that a deal has already been made. The new coach has already assembled his staff and the announcement should come within the next week, most likely after the Kentucky game. I was pretty surprised when I heard who it was because the guy wasn't on anyone's list.

UT's new coaching staff will look a little like this....(drum roll please)...Hayden Fox (HC), Luther Horatio Van Dam (Off. Co.), Dauber Dybinski (Off. Line and Running Backs), Bud Kilmer (Def. Co.), Charlie Tweeder (Special Teams), Burt Reynolds (QB's and WR's), Lee Corso (Def. Backs) and Sinbad (TD Dance Co.).

My sources say the same thing. It must be so!

utchris writes:

I heard the same thing around Memphis today about Kiffin. Even heard that someone cited sources within the AD on the radio here.

I would take Coach O as the recruiting coordinator with coaching responsibilities as a line coach (I think that is what he did at USC and now for the Saints). He made some bonehead coaching mistakes, but look at the talent he has left behind at Ole Miss..Oher, Hardy (both TN kids), and the nose tackle (name?). He also got Snead to come there when he transfered. If he can sell Oxford, e can sure as hell sell Knoxville!

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to volfan_in_mississippi:

If that is the case, why wait on announcing? Neither Kiffin nor Orgeron have current obligations that would prohibit announcing now and getting them on the recruiting trail. Doesn't seem to be the most likely of scenarios.

They have never intended on making an announcement until after the KY game out of respect for coach Fulmer

kbart4033#247331 writes:

My dream team:

Offensive Co-ordinator: Major Applewhite

Defensive Co-ordinator: Kevin Steele

Head Coach: Bill Cowher

murrayvol writes:

Count me among those who appreciate Foster coming back.

It would've been easier to take the money and run. No risk of injury or living through this dungburger of a season. As tough as it's been for us, I can't imagine what it was like for the players and coaches.

I wish him well and hope he makes it in the league.

SmokeDog72 writes:

Three things:

1) I am sure that every team in the NFL is also glad that he stayed in Knoxville this year. This guy is supposed to be an NFL caliber running back? Give me a break. He is not even all conference.

2) “I came back to try to help this team win, and I just didn’t do that. I wanted to help this team win, and I really didn’t get the chance.”

Didn't get the chance? Every time you got to touch the ball, you got the chance. Foster has run less physical this year than any year in the past. He waits way too long before attacking the hole. I have never seen a guy with his build be such a finesse back.

3) Arian Foster = Built sturdy (like Jamal Lewis), runs light (like Carl Lewis)

What a waste!!!

golfballs03 writes:

Arian Foster has been one of my favorite players over the last several years. I think he is a solid kid. He'll make a roster, and I wish him the best

ZR writes:

Foster.

Australian for FUMBLE!

He does not really fumble all that much, he just has a knack for fumbling away touchdowns to the other team.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes - funny but I have to agree with UTfan4life. I agree that Foster's elbow may have been slightly misplaced during the Auburn game -- but did anyone else other than me -- see Crompton kind of toss the ball???

xvolx writes:

hope the steelers stay away from him.

LeftCoastVol writes:

in response to west_tn_volfan:

What has Kiffin done? He recruited to SoCal but they were going to play for Carroll not Kiffin. He got fired a couple of years into the Oakland job and had a losing record there. Some say no one could win with Al Davis but that doesn't prove that Kiffin would have won minus Al Davis. I would just like for someone to tell me what he has done that I'm missing. Seems like UT should be able to get a HC that has a winning record somewhere.

Agree! Remember, Kiffin was the Raider's second choice. They first offered the job to Sarkisian but he turned it down. I live in SoCal and believe me, Mickey Mouse could recruit here. We don't need just a great recruiter, we need a great coach who also happens to be a great recruiter. Orgeron is a prime example. He was a pretty good recruiter at Ole Miss but a terrible coach. My fear is Kiffin might be too similar to Coach O. Let's get a proven winner who's been a head coach at the college level--Kelly, Petersen, Whittingham. Just say no to Lane Kiffin! GO VOLS!!!!!!!!

ChattVol2485 writes:

XvolX,

Maybe the Bengals will get him.

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

Much appreciation to Arian. I have wondered much about this this season. As much as I love me some Cheese, I hope he goes wild on Saturday to put a little sugar in this bitter medicine and hopefully turn some scout's heads.

utclassof1992 writes:

If Foster wanted, he could develop a little more toughness and sell himself to the NFL as a West Coast type fullback. That is probably his niche. If he toughens up a bit and learns to block, he could make it happen. He has the skill set.

utclassof1992 writes:

in response to LeftCoastVol:

Agree! Remember, Kiffin was the Raider's second choice. They first offered the job to Sarkisian but he turned it down. I live in SoCal and believe me, Mickey Mouse could recruit here. We don't need just a great recruiter, we need a great coach who also happens to be a great recruiter. Orgeron is a prime example. He was a pretty good recruiter at Ole Miss but a terrible coach. My fear is Kiffin might be too similar to Coach O. Let's get a proven winner who's been a head coach at the college level--Kelly, Petersen, Whittingham. Just say no to Lane Kiffin! GO VOLS!!!!!!!!

Kiffin is about as good as we can hope for. If he brings Orgeron, the turnaround will be short. We need talent, and bad. They will bring it. Kiffin simply has to get an offensive mind to use it right.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Count me among those who appreciate Foster coming back.

It would've been easier to take the money and run. No risk of injury or living through this dungburger of a season. As tough as it's been for us, I can't imagine what it was like for the players and coaches.

I wish him well and hope he makes it in the league.

Dungburger, huh.

Very intuitive. Wish Foster well.

I liken it to being a one-legged man at an azz kicking.

And think about the money Tenn put out to receive these results. And how much more dough it takes to rectify the situation. Kinda like going to a dealer and paying him to take your car.

4 short days and start the climb out of this vat of molasses.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

These kids care about each other, and I respect that. It's their life and that's the way it should be. All of us have lives to life and ought to inspire others too. It's not all about winning. We are all winners. It takes guts to play . These guys are heroes. The kids know this and respect them. Tennessee is a great football program and everybody wants to come here and to excel. Let's keep it at that, and I hope Arian knocks off a couple of 100 yard runs!!

khelton657 writes:

in response to volfan_in_mississippi:

If that is the case, why wait on announcing? Neither Kiffin nor Orgeron have current obligations that would prohibit announcing now and getting them on the recruiting trail. Doesn't seem to be the most likely of scenarios.

They wouldn't name the new head coach out of respect for Fulmer, naming the new HC before the end of the season would completely overshadow what is left of Fulmer's final season...It is tough just to watch it much less what ir must be like to live it. Fulmer probably feels like his state has deserted him..

txsvol#372416 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Orgeron joins a long list of busts as an SEC HC. I think he was a pretty good posistion coach at USC and a great recruiter which is why Ole Miss hired him.

He just got above his raisin'.

I think we'd be better off without Orgeron. While wondering whether he's had the Ole Miss tattoo removed from his butt, and whether he'll replace it with a 'T', or have a 'Smokey' along side Colonel Rebel, I found that he's taken a 26 week counseling session for domestic violence while at U of Miami. Apparently he's been stopped for DUI a time or two as well. Does he still have the nipple ring? Hamilton had really better vett this potential 'outlaw' hire! SAVol

txsvol#372416 writes:

While Arian Foster has had a poor year this year, much of that is because of injury and our OL. He is more workmanlike than stellar, but he could well turn into the thunder of the thunder and lightning packages for some pro team's running game. Look for him to be better when he has decent blocking! Thanks for giving us all 4 years, Arian. I know that it cost you some money to do so! SAVol

Waldorf writes:

If I am Phil Fulmer, Arian Foster is the #1 person I blame for being jobless right now. If he could hold on to a football, this team doesn't have a losing season in 2005, beats Penn State in 2006, doesn't get embarassed by Florida in 2007, and probably has 2 more wins this year.

And on top of all of all of that - two, maybe three more talents backs get less carries.

Why am I supposed to feel sorry for this guy?

AllVol2008#1353998 writes:

in response to Waldorf:

If I am Phil Fulmer, Arian Foster is the #1 person I blame for being jobless right now. If he could hold on to a football, this team doesn't have a losing season in 2005, beats Penn State in 2006, doesn't get embarassed by Florida in 2007, and probably has 2 more wins this year.

And on top of all of all of that - two, maybe three more talents backs get less carries.

Why am I supposed to feel sorry for this guy?

Exactly. Foster did absolutely nothing for Fulmer or the team or the program. I can't wait NOT to see his slow butt next year.

eduardo writes:

vreeeck! vreeeck!

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to golfballs03:

Arian Foster has been one of my favorite players over the last several years. I think he is a solid kid. He'll make a roster, and I wish him the best

FOSTER YOUR FAVORITE PLAYER ,YOUR HEAD MUST BE FULL OF GOLF BALLS .

vol88 writes:

Thanks for coming back Arian. Best of luck in the NFL.

xvolx writes:

in response to ChattVol2485:

XvolX,

Maybe the Bengals will get him.

good choice, browns or ravens

invisiblekid writes:

in response to Waldorf:

If I am Phil Fulmer, Arian Foster is the #1 person I blame for being jobless right now. If he could hold on to a football, this team doesn't have a losing season in 2005, beats Penn State in 2006, doesn't get embarassed by Florida in 2007, and probably has 2 more wins this year.

And on top of all of all of that - two, maybe three more talents backs get less carries.

Why am I supposed to feel sorry for this guy?

Not going to argue that Foster has cost the Vols plenty. I just think you are way off base at putting Foster at the top of the list. Do you think Foster has been sitting himself at the top of the depth chart?

If I am Fulmer, the first place I'd look to place blame is right in the mirror. Problem is, he has been too stubborn to do that over the years and has passed it off as loyalty and staying the course because he didn't get stupid overnight.

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