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Barry Foster (American football)

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No. 29
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1968-12-08) December 8, 1968 (age 51)
Place of birth: Hurst, Texas
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Career information
College: Arkansas
NFL draft: 1990 / Round: 5 / Pick: 128
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career Template:If empty statistics
Rushing yards: 3,943
Rushing average: 4.3
Rushing TDs: 26
Stats at
Stats at

Barry Foster (born December 8, 1968) is a former American football running back in the National Football League)


Foster attended Duncanville High School in Texas. He went on to attend the University of Arkansas where he played fullback for the Razorbacks aside a pair of tailbacks, James Rouse and E. D. Jackson, in Ken Hatfield's wishbone offense. Foster wore the number 18. After three collegiate seasons he decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 1990 NFL Draft. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 19th pick of the 5th round (128th overall) by Chuck Noll. Foster was 5'10 and weighted 223, and wore #29.

Unfortunately, Barry Foster’s NFL career was cut short because of injuries. Even so, he brought the running game back to Pittsburgh. For his career he carried the football 915 times for 3943 yards for a 4.3-yard average, caught 93 balls for 804 more yards and scored 28 touchdowns and 2 Pro-Bowls. His 1,690 in 1992 is still the Steelers single season record for a running back. Known in the 90's as "The NFL's Other Barry."

Playing career

In 1990, Foster was used primarily on special teams during his rookie season.

His second NFL season, in 1991, started out great with a 121-yard rushing game with a 56-yard touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills in week 2 but he sprained his ankle a few weeks later and missed five games.

In 1992, Barry Foster got the Bill Cowher era going in Pittsburgh after two seasons on the bench. Foster got the starting nod and looked like the second coming of Franco Harris. He rushed for a Steelers single season record 1,690 yards and also broke Harris's team record for 100-yard games in a season with 12, that also tied Eric Dickerson's NFL record for 100-yard games. He was voted to the Pro Bowl that year and also scored 11 touchdowns. Foster finished 1992 as the AFC top rusher and second to Emmitt Smith by 23 yards for the rushing title.

In 1993, Foster's season started off strong, but injuries limited him to 711 yards in nine games with eight touchdowns. Despite the injuries, Foster still made the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row.

In 1994, Foster played 11 games (again limited due to injuries) and gained 851 yards. During a September 18, 1994 game against the Indianapolis Colts, Barry had one of his finest performances of his career. Rushing for 179 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown. He added three catches for another 13 yards – giving him more yards than the entire Colts’ offense. The game was billed as Barry Foster versus Marshall Faulk, but it was no contest. “He (Faulk) wasn't the challenge,” said Foster. “I respond to the challenge the defense gives me". The injury to Foster that year opened the door for rookie running back Bam Morris to take over.

The 1994 AFC Championship game, would not only be Foster's last game in a Steeler uniform, but his last NFL game. Trailing the San Diego Chargers 17-13, the Steelers were mounting the go-ahead drive. On the last play of the game, a fourth down and goal from the three-yard line, Foster was in primarily as a blocker for Neil O'Donnell, but when San Diego sent no pass rush Foster ran out of the back field to became an eligible receiver on a short underneath route. The throw from O'Donnell was delayed and gave San Diego linebacker Dennis Gibson the chance to reach over Foster and bat the ball to the ground as Foster was falling to the turf of Three Rivers stadium. That play ended the Steelers' season. O'Donnell later stated that Foster was his fourth read on that play.

In 1995, Barry Foster had become expendable due to his contract, the rise of Morris and the signing of former 1,000-yard running back Erric Pegram. Pittsburgh traded Foster to the expansion Carolina Panthers but was cut in training camp when he failed a physical. Despite a few flashes of his former brilliance, he retired.

Later that season, Foster came out of retirement to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals after the injury to their first round draft pick Ki-Jana Carter in the pre season. But two days after signing a $1 million contract, Foster changed his mind and left the Bengals. Foster, age 26, out of football since the Carolina Panthers released him before the 1995 season began, complained that he felt like "a 60-year-old running back" after his first workout in pads with the team. He later returned his reported $300,000 signing bonus to the Bengals and left town and retired a few days later without playing a game. He announced that he had saved his money and had enough to retire.

Since Retirement

Since Foster retired from the NFL, he became the running backs coach to the Rhein Fire.


Note: G = Games played; Att = Rushing attempts; Yds = Rushing yards; Avg = Average yards per carry; Long = Longest rush; Rush TD = Rushing touchdowns; Rec = Receptions; Yds = Receiving yards; Avg = Average yards per reception; Long = Longest reception; Rec TD = Receiving touchdowns

Year Team GP Att Yds Avg Long Rush TD Rec Yds Avg Long Rec TD
1990 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 36 203 5.6 38 1 1 2 2.0 2 0
1991 Pittsburgh Steelers 10 96 488 5.1 56 1 9 117 13.0 31 1
1992 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 390 1,690 4.3 69 11 36 344 9.6 42 0
1993 Pittsburgh Steelers 9 177 711 4.0 38 8 27 217 8.0 21 1
1994 Pittsburgh Steelers 11 216 851 3.9 29 5 20 124 6.2 27 0
Career Totals 62 915 3,943 4.3 69 26 93 804 8.6 42 2
  • Stats that are highlighted show career high


Foster has been Married to Teray M. Foster since 1992 they have 3 children, Janea Foster, Barry Foster Jr and Tamara M. Foster. Barry Foster is a very devoted family man and adores his children. Barry Foster and his family live in the Dallas, TX area.

External links