Science lover Arian Foster getting physics degree

By Alex Butler  |  Jan. 30, 2017 at 6:46 PM
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Jan. 30 (UPI) -- An unceremonious retirement from the NFL gave way for Arian Foster to purse one of his favorite interests: physics.

The 30-year-old former All-Pro retired in October, following a short stint with the Miami Dolphins. He came to the team as a free agent, after starring for the Houston Texans. The four-time Pro Bowl selection led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns 2010. He also had the most rushing scores in 2012.

In August, Foster raved about science being "our greatest accomplishment as the human species." He spoke about reading into it and discovering the "natural world as we know it to be." His Twitter timeline is still clogged with thoughts on the cosmos and the theories of men like Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton.

"It was easier for me [to retire], just knowing that you have outside passions, outside things that you also fell in love with throughout your career," Foster told the Houston Chronicle during an autograph appearance Saturday at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. "So it was a little easier."

Foster earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee before joining the league. Last February, he told the producers of the documentary Schooled: The Price of College Sports, that he was given money during his senior season with the Volunteers.

"I don't know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation -- my senior year, I was getting money on the side," Foster said in the documentary. "I really didn't have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, 'Man, be careful.' But there's nothing wrong with it. And you're not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it."

Foster also told the Chronicle that he is going to explore the world and his other passions.

"Bucket lists, I'm going to travel a for a while, enjoy life," Foster told the Chronicle. "Then, work on my other passions which is arts and sciences. They're separate – arts and sciences. I'm going to pursue a degree in physics and see where else life takes me."

Foster holds the Texans franchise record for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He wrote a very thoughtful farewell post on Oct. 24, describing his reasons for leaving the game.

"There comes a time in every athlete's career when their ambition and their body are no longer on the same page," Foster wrote on social media. "I've reached that point. It's hard to write those words because this game has been everything to me...my therapy, my joy, my solace and my enemy. I've learned to love every facet of this game, from the peak of accomplishment to the gutter of criticism. And it all makes the ride worthwhile. I've been fortunate enough to play many successful years in this league. I've given a lot to this game and given up a lot for it. But it has returned to me more than I could have ever asked for. Faceless gladiators have been shuffled in and out of this arena for decades and I'm proud to have taken part in that legacy. My father always said, "You'll know when it's time to walk away."

"It has never been more clear than right now," Foster wrote. "I'm walking away with peace. I know it's not commonplace to do it midseason, but my body just can't take the punishment this game asks for any longer. I want to thank the Miami Dolphins, with everything in me, for allowing me to bow out with grace and making this process as easy as possible. It means everything to my family and I. I've created lifelong relationships in my short time there that I'm forever thankful for. Every athlete would love to go out as a Super Bowl MVP, riding off into the sunset with the crowd cheering their name. Unfortunately, life has other plans and they're usually opposite the imagination. But that imagination got me this far and I could not be prouder of the things my teammates and I accomplished in this game. I'd like to send a sincere thank you to all those who I've come in contact with throughout this journey. This is a beautifully violent game and the same reason I loved it is why I have to walk away. That bittersweet taste will forever linger with me, but on my next journey, I get to carry those memories with me. Hopefully. Lol."

Foster entered the NFL in 2009 as an undrafted free agent.

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