2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile:Â OG Joel Foreman #67
2009 Eligibility: Sophomore
EXP: 1 Letter
Status: Starting Guard
Strengths:Â There was no freshman on the Spartan team that had a bigger 2008 season than All American Joel Foreman.Â Joel is a classic example of why I keep reiterating that this staff would almost rather cut a foot off than start a true freshman.Â Joel is a savvy and smart player, but when he came to MSU as a true freshman he wasnâ€™t ready.Â
He matured greatly over that red shirt season and grew in strength considerably.Â There was some worry even last season at the start if he could handle it, but when the dust settled, Foreman was a key reason for the success.
Part of what makes Foreman succeed is that he plays with a mean streak and tenacity.Â Now he isnâ€™t anything short of a super kid, but on the field he is a perfectionist and a dominator.Â He has sound technique and that allowed him to overpower guys, because his strength and technique are a deadly pair.
Last year you consistently saw the Spartans go away from the right side, once they reached the heart of the season for key yards so they could get in behind Foreman and Cironi.Â In fact Javon Ringer explained Joelâ€™s maturation like this, â€œIt is amazing what he has done and he is just a freshman.Â I can look at him and tell him letâ€™s do it and I know he can get me that opening I need.â€Â What made the ability of Foreman and the left side amazing was that the right side was anchored by two-multi year starting seniors in Jesse Miller and Roland Martin.
Weakness:Â The biggest weakness that you see in Foreman is truly only his age.Â For example, letâ€™s look at last year in the Capital One Bowl.Â The season was long and in its thirteenth game after a long layoff, he struggled keeping his pad level down.Â Now granted against Ohio State and Penn State, both late games with great talent on the DL, you saw some struggles with pad level.Â That is a freshman mistake.Â
He had dominated and then when the competition level went up with PSU, OSU and UG he couldnâ€™t get away with a rising pad level like he could against Northwestern, Indiana and even a Notre Dame.Â As Foreman continues to mature, he wonâ€™t have those lapses in judgment and this off-season he hasnâ€™t rested on the success of 2008.Â He will be a great bodyguard for a new QB and a young RB, whomever they may be.
Final Analysis:Â Upside is a word that is overused in football.Â It is NOT overused with Joel.Â He has it and what is going to make him special was evidenced this off-season.Â Joel could have rested and basked in the praise of being an All American, but he dug deeper, pushed himself harder, and should continue to build on that success.Â If he is able to grow and not maintain, Big Ten defensive coordinators are going to have to account for young Mr. Foreman in their game plans for this season and two more.Â That cannot be a happy thought.Â For anyone that knows Joel, however, it is a good one.Â His success couldnâ€™t have happened to a better and more polite young man.Â He is a great representative of the Spartan Nation, the state of Michigan, and I am sure the pride of Highland, Michigan.