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ASU Football: D.J. Foster named preseason Third-Team All-American by Phil Steele

The running back turned wide receiver is earning high praise from one of America's leaders in college football.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State senior wide receiver D.J. Foster has been named a preseason Third-Team All-American by Phil Steele, the publication announced Monday morning.

Foster was used primarily in the backfield during his first three seasons in Tempe. In 2014, he rushed for 1,081 yards and nine touchdowns on his way to earning Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors. Foster rushed for 501 yards and six touchdowns in 2014 and 493 yards as a freshman in 2013.

However, Foster has always been a favorite target for ASU quarterbacks in the receiving game for the past three seasons. Foster is the only athlete in college football to record 1,500 career rushing yards and 1,500 career receiving yards. The Scottsdale, Ariz., product has caught a pass in every game he has played in at ASU, a streak that now stretches 40 games.

Foster was moved out of the backfield and into the receiving corps for a few reasons. The first being the plethora of options the Sun Devils have in the backfield next season. Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard return for their sophomore seasons and the Sun Devils will add De'Chavon "Gump" Hayes, who redshirted last year and drew rave reviews in spring practice.

ASU was already planning the move, but the loss of Cam Smith to a knee injury depleted an already thin receiving corps. With Smith out for most (if not all) of 2015 and Jaelen Strong in the NFL, the Sun Devils desperately need playmakers at wide receiver in 2015.

Phil Steele is one of the nation's most respected college football journalists. He puts out a season preview magazine each summer that is a must-read for college football fans. Don't expect this to be the only preseason award Foster receives before the 2015 season.