B.J. Foster’s found new mindset for 2021 season

Matthew Boncosky, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the September 24 flipbook. 

The B.J. Foster who met with the media Monday is not the same B.J. Foster who blew up at former Texas head coach Tom Herman and quit the team last year.

The starting safety, who infamously walked off the field in the third quarter of the Longhorns’ 59-3 win over UTEP because of playing time concerns, appears to have turned over a new—he would say unrecognizable—leaf.

“Nah, I don’t even know that guy anymore,” Foster said.

Last September’s incident was puzzling from just about every angle that it could be analyzed. The NCAA granted all athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic, so why would Foster quit in a year that had no impact on eligibility? It was also Week 1 of a 2020 season that Foster would see plenty of playing time in, appearing in nine games for the Longhorns by the time it was over.

Since his arrival on the Forty Acres in 2018, Foster has started in 16 of his 31 appearances for the Longhorns. He realizes now how silly that whole affair was and wants to set a better example for his teammates who are set to succeed him after he completes his final season.

“I do my best to make sure that when the young ones come in, that they don’t (make) the mistakes that I’ve made,” Foster said. “I let them know that all that extra stuff can wait; it’s time to focus.”

Foster wants to end his Texas career by going out with a bang. The first step is getting through the season healthy after dealing with multiple injuries in years prior. In February 2020, Foster underwent surgery to repair a shoulder injury he sustained in the 2019 season. He later fractured his hand that summer by punching his Chevrolet Camaro out of frustration after finding it dinged up in a parking lot without a note.

Foster has taken up mobility training and massages to take better care of his body, things he wasn’t doing a couple of years ago. But getting in the right mental state and letting go of his anger and frustration have been another battle.

He had a simple explanation for how that happened.

“I got a girlfriend,” Foster said. “I had to calm down what I was doing. She put me on the right track.”

Since then, Foster said he’s changed his whole mindset, not just in football, but in life. He doesn’t let petty frustrations get to him like they once did because whatever happens, he said, “God is making it happen.”

Like any Division I football player, Foster strives to play in the NFL, but what once was an admittedly doubtful mindset has since turned into one of much more certainty. Foster said he’s learned the benefits of speaking things into existence, insisting that he will make it into the league, and that he will have a successful career once his playing days are over. He doesn’t want to leave his future up to chance anymore.

This mindset echoes that of former Texas safety Caden Sterns, who currently plays for the NFL’s Denver Broncos. That’s no coincidence. Foster said he’s learned from Sterns how to exceed expectations.

In Texas’ loss to Arkansas, Foster made one of the few highlight plays for the Longhorns, stretching his arm out to tip a pass to himself for an interception. 

When Foster checked his phone after the game, Sterns was the first person who texted him about the play. That put a smile on Foster’s face.

“He said, ‘Great play, my boy,’” Foster said. “I said, ‘Appreciate it, I learned from you.’”