Oct. 6, 2011
Liz Mannis, Texas Media Relations
Senior RB Foswhitt "Fozzy" Whittaker is juggling more than a new offense this fall. After earning his bachelor's degree in corporate communications in May 2010, Fozzy entered his second year of the Master's program in general kinesiology.
"Ultimately I like grad school better because [classes are] only once a week and at the same time it's not as much busy work," explained Whittaker. "I feel like I'm actually learning more towards what I want to pursue, [rather] than just a general knowledge of everything."
While Whittaker hasn't decided exactly what he wants to do after leaving the University of Texas, he hopes to stay involved in football.
"My career afterwards is kind of up in the air," remarked Whittaker. "I'm thinking about working in football operations, kind of like [special assistant for player relations] Marcus Tubbs is now. I want to do something along those lines - still working with football and the team, still being a part of college football."
When Fozzy is not in class or at practice, he enjoys fishing, hunting and playing with his five pets.
"My rabbit is white and black so I named him Oreo. One of my turtles I've had since I've been in college, his name is Franklin. He's the biggest one. I have another [turtle] named Woody who's a little bit smaller. And then I have a really baby [turtle], and his name is Junior," explained Whittaker, adding, "and my monitor lizard's name is Godzilla."
As if it wasn't impressive enough that Whittaker is a full-time graduate student-athlete and cares for five pets, he also manages to find time to give back to the community. The senior running back is part a group of Longhorns that make the trip to Dell Children's Hospital each Friday before a home game to visit and play with some of the younger patients.
"It's a time for us to give back and give the kids some hope," reflected Whittaker, adding that the visits help the kids and team connect and show their support for one another.
It's hard not to wonder how Whittaker juggles it all. So it's only fitting that he draws inspiration from Marvel Comics superhero Captain America who once said, "I can't surrender, I don't know how!"
"I consider myself Captain America," affirmed Whittaker. "That's who I most associate myself with as a superhero. I'm always wearing something Captain America."
While Whittaker's closet may be filled with Captain America gear, including a comic book backpack he's been sporting around campus, you won't be seeing him portraying the superhero come October 31st.
"Everybody asks me if I've ever been Captain America for Halloween and I say, `No, I'm not dressing up as Captain America because that's who I am everyday.' So I have to be somebody different."
Halloween may be quickly approaching, but Whittaker's focus this week is on Saturday's Red River Rivalry against No. 3 Oklahoma. A number of Longhorns will be stepping out onto the Cotton Bowl field for the first time this weekend, but this will be Whittaker's third time playing in the storied event. Whittaker used his experience and leadership to advise some of the younger players about the unique atmosphere of the upcoming game.
"It's in Dallas, the early game, with [ESPN's] College Gameday. And it's OU, a rivalry that's been going on for a while now," said Whittaker. "Basically, just soak it all in and once it's time to play, just be prepared to play."
Whittaker is excited for the matchup, and if he can channel his innermost Captain America to help the Longhorns, maybe they will leave Dallas with the win.