Former Tennessee running back Arian Foster returned to the Tennessee football program for the first time in a decade this past weekend during the Florida game.
Foster and Tennessee haven’t had the best of relationships over the stretch of time. In 2013, Foster admitted that he had received money while at Tennessee in the “Schooled: The Price of College Sports” documentary. Foster has explained his side of the story before, but shed new light on the situation this week on a podcast.
Despite the trials and hardships of the past, it looks as though a new leaf has been turned in the relationship between Arian Foster and the University of Tennessee. The former Vol returned to Knoxville this past weekend for the Tennessee-Florida game and was overwhelmed at the kind response from the staff inside the facility.
“There are so many people – and I’m getting emotional now – but there are so many people that showed me so much love that I got overwhelmed,” Foster said on Barstool Sports’ Macrodosing podcast.
Foster was captured on the sideline during a Josh Heupel celebration and was seen giving the second-year Tennessee coach a handshake after the game.
Protect this man at all costs pic.twitter.com/lDjtmz3Gbo
— Christibeth Paul (@ChristibethP) September 25, 2022
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As Foster recalled this week, he says that it was the relationships that were rekindled that made his weekend so enjoyable.
And, now, Foster says that the animosity that he has had with Tennessee is gone.
“Coming back got me so emotional and so grateful for the time that I spent that any animosity that I had is just gone,” Foster said earlier this week.
Foster had a lot to say about his return to Tennessee on this week’s Macrodosing podcast. From background information leading into his time at Tennessee to the Vols’ game against the Florida Gators on Saturday, Foster spoke for a good couple of minutes about everything that went into the weekend and why his outlook on Tennessee is so different going forward.
Arian Foster on background details regarding his time at Tennessee from 2005-2008:
“I’m going to say this. I called my mother after I left the facility, the practice facility, when I first visited. Because I’ve had a lot of issues with the University of Tennessee – more, it wasn’t necessarily the University and the people involved, it was more so the institution. And I had issues with the way things were run. And, long story short, I called my mother today after I came back – I haven’t been back [to Tennessee] in 10 years. And I was emotional. The reason why I was emotional was because when I was here, I was a young kid – and I was talking to my boys about this tonight – I was a young kid, like when I grew up, like when your mother looks at you in your eyes and says, ‘yo there’s no food tonight,’ that’s a real feeling. I felt that a lot growing up. Gunshots. Hearing gunshots growing up. Just growing up in that environment. And then coming [to Tennessee] and fighting for your future and having you feel like adults are hindering that future. It’s one of the most frustrating things you could have. Like, yall are the ones who are supposed to be guiding me. But you’re ****ing me. And so you feel like the world is against you.”
Foster on returning to Tennessee this past weekend:
“And so coming back, long story short, coming back having all that animosity and all of those feelings, and coming back feeling like I did it anyway. There are so many people – and I’m getting emotional now – but there are so many people that showed me so much love that I got overwhelmed. I’m talking about the training staff, I had a 30-minute conversation with the head trainer that I used to talk to every day. The administrators, the equipment managers, all these cats I haven’t seen in 20 years. Coming back got me so emotional and so grateful for the time that I spent that any animosity that I had is just gone.”
“It was like, a really awakening moment for me because it was like when you come from nothing, like I came from nothing, and when you have what I have now, you appreciate everything… I was under the tent in circle park on the grass and I was looking at the place where I used to go to class. I used to walk every day. Used to take The T (transportation) to The Hill to all my other classes. And I was just looking like, like bro I really did what I set out to do when I was seven years old. I almost cried. I almost cried.”
Check out the full 5-10 minute story from Arian Foster on the Macrodosing podcast below.