theGrio’s 100: Arian Foster, keeping it ‘zen’ while running wild in NFL

Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans waits on the sideline during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at at Reliant Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans waits on the sideline during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at at Reliant Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Who is Arian Foster?

How did a guy who has averaged 1,400 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns a year the last three seasons ever go undrafted? Well that’s the story of Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, who was not among the 20 running backs selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. Fortunately, the Texans signed him as an undrafted free agent and Foster has breathed new life into the young franchise ever since.

Why is he on theGrio’s 100?

The 26-year-old Albuquerque, New Mexico native is one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL and has been lauded for both his humility and professionalism since he entered the league. His touchdown celebration? A bow to show respect to the game he loves:

“I feel like every running back should have their own stamp on the game,” Foster told ESPN‘s Jim McCurdy in 2010. “Mine stems from the core or what I believe. It’s a Namaste. It means respect. It just means, ‘I see the God in you.’ It’s me paying my respect to the game of football.”

The Texans rewarded Foster in May of last year to the tune of $43.5 million over five years.

Last summer, Foster got the attention of his teammates and many in the sports world when he announced his new commitment to a vegan diet. It’s served Foster well and could act as a blueprint for more running backs to follow.

What’s next for Foster?

Foster’s Texans have won back-to-back division titles and will certainly be a force in the talent-heavy AFC conference for years to come. His endorsement deals range from Under Armour to Verizon and he’ll remain heavily involved in charities such as the Boys and Girls Club and American Cancer Society.

Don’t expect Foster to dodge his zen-like behavior after football – he majored in philosophy in college.

Follow Arian Foster on Twitter @ArianFoster