Leonard Fournette

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Leonard Fournette
No. 27 Jacksonville Jaguars
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1995-01-18) January 18, 1995 (age 22)
Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school: New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine
College: LSU
NFL Draft: 2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com

Leonard Fournette III (born January 18, 1995) is an American football running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at LSU, and was drafted by the Jaguars with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Fournette was a consensus All-America selection following his sophomore season in 2015, after setting school single-season records with 1,953 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns, and leading the country with 162.8 rushing yards per game. Various experts regarded him as the best player in college football, comparing him to all-time great Herschel Walker.[1][2]

Fournette joined the Tigers with near-unprecedented hype in 2014 after an outstanding career at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, winning the 2013 USA Today High School Football Offensive Player of the Year and being named the No. 1 overall recruit in 2014 senior class according to ESPN, 247Sports.com, and CBS Sports.[3]

Early years[edit]

Raised in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Fournette attended St. Augustine High School, where he competed in football and track. His 200 metres regional mark of 21.57 seconds is fastest in 4A, and his 10.68 in the 100 metres is only .02 off the best time. He also competed in the 4 × 100 metres relay and 4 × 200 metres relay. On the varsity football team, he was a starter since his freshman year and compiled 7,619 rushing yards and 88 rushing touchdowns for his career. He rushed for more than 2,500 yards and 30 touchdowns his freshman season, and became the first-ever freshman to earn a scholarship offer from Louisiana State.[4] His sophomore year ended with 1,900 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns. As a junior, he registered 2,135 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns, and was an LFCA Class 4A First-Team All-State honoree. In his senior year, Fournette ran for 1,792 yards and 16 touchdowns and added 45 receptions for 745 yards and six scores. Early in the season, he had a heralded performance with two touchdowns and 262 yards rushing against Malachi Dupre's John Curtis Christian, which was nationally televised by ESPN2.[5] St. Augustine ended the season with a 9–2 record and an appearance in the LHSAA Division I semifinal game, where they were upset 31–28 by Archbishop Rummel High School.[6] Fournette was named Louisiana's 2013 Mr. Football by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and also was selected as an All-American by Parade and USA Today, as well as USA Today Offensive Player of the Year, the first from Louisiana since Ryan Perrilloux in 2004. After the season, Fournette participated in the Under Armour All-America Game where he caught a 36-yard touchdown pass and rushed for 43 yards on nine carries.

Unanimously regarded as the best running back prospect of his class, Fournette was one of the most highly recruited players ever to come out of Louisiana. ESPN ranked him as the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2014,[7] as did Scout.com.[8] At the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game, Fournette announced his decision to attend Louisiana State University (LSU).[9]

College career[edit]

Freshman season[edit]

Fournette's college career was preceded by very high expectations and hype, and he was often called "the next Adrian Peterson".[10][11] In his collegiate debut against the Wisconsin Badgers on August 30, 2014, Fournette ran for 18 yards on 8 carries.[11] After the game, LSU head coach Les Miles downplayed the Fournette hype. "First games are not to be comparable to his 30th game," said Miles. "Expectations are unrealistic."[10] In his second game, against the Sam Houston State Bearkats, Fournette rushed for 92 yards on 13 attempts and scored his first collegiate rushing touchdown. In week five, the New Mexico State Aggies traveled to Death Valley to face the No. 17 LSU Tigers, and Fournette ran for 122 yards on 18 carries and scored two touchdowns. This effort put Fournette at the top of the Tigers' rushing list for the season.[12] On October 11 against Florida, Fournette rushed the ball 27 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns to help LSU secure a 30–27 last-second win in The Swamp. Against undefeated and No. 3 ranked Ole Miss, who led the nation in stopping the run, Fournette shook off an early goal line fumble and rushed 23 times for 113 to go along with two receptions for 41 yards. LSU ran the ball 12 times for 92 yards on a 13-play, 95-yard touchdown drive to upset the Rebels 10–7 in Death Valley.[13] Fournette finished the season against Notre Dame in the 2014 Music City Bowl with 11 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns and also had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.[14]

Sophomore season[edit]

Fournette rushed for a career-high 244 yards and two touchdowns against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, six yards shy of tying Alley Broussard's LSU school record of 250 yards against Ole Miss in 2004.[15] Fournette had an 87-yard scoring run nullified by an illegal formation call late in the game.[16] The following week, against Eastern Michigan, Fournette rushed for 233 yards, becoming the first player in Southeastern Conference (SEC) history to rush for 200 or more yards in three straight games.[17] Against Western Kentucky, Fournette ran for 150 yards, his ninth consecutive 100+ yards rushing game, a streak that dated back to the Texas A&M game in late November 2014. He tied an LSU school record originally established by Charles Alexander in 1978.[18] Fournette's streak ended the very next game against Alabama, the nation's best rushing defense, at Bryant–Denny Stadium. He was held to 31 yards on 19 attempts, as the Crimson Tide handed LSU its first loss of the season.[19] In the 2015 Texas Bowl, Fournette ran for 212 yards and scored five total touchdowns as the Tigers beat Texas Tech, 56–27.[20]

In his sophomore season, Fournette set school records with 1,953 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. With an average of 162.8 rushing yards per game, he won the NCAA rushing title, awarded to the player with the highest rushing yards per game average each season.[21] He finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting, earning 110 points. He earned consensus All-America honors as he was named to the first team by three official selectors: the Associated Press (AP),[22] the Walter Camp Football Foundation,[23] and the Football Writers Association of America.[24] SEC coaches,[25] the AP,[26] and ESPN.com[27] each named Fournette to their All-SEC first team.

Junior season[edit]

Entering his junior season, Fournette was expected to contend for the Heisman Trophy, and was one of the preseason favorites to win the award.[28][29] During a scrimmage game prior to the 2016 season, Fournette sustained a high ankle sprain,[30][31] but was well enough to return for the season opener against Wisconsin. Late in the game against Wisconsin, he bruised the same ankle and missed the next week's game against Jacksonville State as a result. He re-injured it against Auburn on September 24 in a 101-yard rushing effort, causing him to miss the next two games.[32] On October 22, his first game back, Fournette rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns against Ole Miss to set a new single-game school record for rushing yards.[33] His record was surpassed later in the season by Derrius Guice by one yard. With his ankle still not fully healed, Fournette was not expected to play against Florida on November 19, and did not suit up for pregame warm-ups. However, after a pregame scuffle between the teams in which Fournette shoved a Florida assistant coach,[34] LSU coach Ed Orgeron granted him permission to play. Still visibly bothered by the injury, he managed only 40 yards on 12 carries and did not play in the fourth quarter. Due to the injury, he did not travel with the team to Texas A&M for the final game of the season.[35] He finished his junior season having carried 129 times for 843 yards and eight touchdowns in seven games.

On December 5, 2016, Fournette announced his intention to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.[36] To avoid injury, he also decided to skip the 2016 Citrus Bowl.[37] Fournette finished his college career having rushed for 3,830 yards, the fourth-most by a player in LSU history behind Charles Alexander, Dalton Hilliard, and Kevin Faulk. His 40 rushing touchdowns are tied for third most in school history with Alexander and behind Hilliard and Faulk.

College statistics[edit]

Rushing Receiving
Year Team GP GS Att Yards Avg Long TDs Rec Yards TDs
2014 LSU 13 6 187 1,034 5.5 89 10 7 127 0
2015 LSU 11 11 271 1,953 6.4 87 22 18 209 1
2016 LSU 7 7 129 843 6.5 78 8 15 146 0
College Totals 31 24 616 3,830 6.2 89 40 40 482 1

Source:[38]

Professional career[edit]

Coming out of college, Fournette was highly touted as a top ten pick in the upcoming draft and was ranked as the third best prospect going into the NFL Combine. He arrived at the NFL combine weighing in at five pounds heavier than his playing weight in college and opted to only participate in the vertical and 40-yard dash. At LSU's Pro Day, he opted to only partake in positional drills. He was ranked the top overall running back prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, but was ranked the second best running back behind Florida State's Dalvin Cook by Pro Football Focus and Sports Illustrated.[39][40][41]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 012 in 240 lb 31 58 in 9 14 in 4.51 s 28.5 in
All values from 2017 NFL Combine.[42]

Fournette was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.[43] On May 17, 2017, Fournette signed a four-year contract with the Jaguars worth $27 million with a $18 million signing bonus.[44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roser, Jerit (September 30, 2015). "Herschel Walker: Leonard Fournette 'is better than I was'". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ Maisel, Ivan (October 7, 2015). "Leonard Fournette: The best kind of different". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  3. ^ Yellin, Lyons (April 18, 2013). "ESPN names St. Augustine's Leonard Fournette nation's No. 1 recruit". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  4. ^ Scarborough, Alex (June 25, 2012). "2014 running back Leonard Fournette has overcome adversity to excel in life". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Fournette breaks out: Nation's top recruit Leonard Fournette puts on a show on ESPN2". ESPN.com. October 8, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2016.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Derry, Jim (December 1, 2013). "Fifth-seeded Rummel shocks St. Augustine, 31–28". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  7. ^ "2014 ESPN 300". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  8. ^ "2014 High School Recruits Ranking". Scout.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  9. ^ Tyson, Derek (January 3, 2014). "Leonard Fournette commits to LSU". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Fornelli, Tom (September 3, 2014). "Les Miles wants to temper the Fournette hype he helped create". CBS Sports. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Duncan, Jeff (August 31, 2014). "Leonard Fournette's collegiate debut is more fizzle than sizzle". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Leonard Fournette 2014 Game Log". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  13. ^ Martel, Brett (October 26, 2014). "No. 24 LSU upends No.3 Mississippi, 10-7". CBS Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  14. ^ Sparks, Adam (December 30, 2014). "LSU's Leonard Fournette sizzles in Music City Bowl". The Tennessean. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  15. ^ Moormann, Dave (November 22, 2004). "LSU’s ground attack overcomes sluggish passing game". The Daily Comet. Archived from the original on September 28, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Leonard Fournette first LSU RB to run for 200 yards in consecutive games". ESPN.com. September 26, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  17. ^ "LSU's Leonard Fournette on an unprecedented run". ESPN.com. October 6, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  18. ^ Harris, Terrance (October 24, 2015). "LSU running back Leonard Fournette matches school record consecutive 100-yard rushing games". SEC Country. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Derrick Henry (210 yards, 3 TDs) rolls as Bama contains Leonard Fournette, LSU". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 8, 2015. 
  20. ^ Kleinpeter, Jim (December 29, 2015). "LSU, Leonard Fournette trample Texas Tech in Texas Bowl, 56–27". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 3, 2016. 
  21. ^ Kleinpeter, Jim (January 12, 2016). "Leonard Fournette wins NCAA rushing title". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  22. ^ Russo, Ralph D. (December 13, 2015). "Heisman Trophy Winner Henry Highlights AP All-America Team". Associated Press. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  23. ^ Carbone, Al (December 10, 2015). "126th Walter Camp All-America Teams". Walter Camp Football Foundation. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  24. ^ "2015 AutoNation FWAA All-America Team Unveiled". Football Writers Association of America. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  25. ^ Kalland, Robby (December 8, 2015). "2015 Coaches' All-SEC Team: Alabama leads the way with 10 selections". CBS Sports. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  26. ^ "2015 Associated Press All-SEC football team". Associated Press. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  27. ^ Aschoff, Edward (December 9, 2015). "2015 ESPN.com All-SEC team: Derrick Henry, Leonard Fournette lead the way". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  28. ^ Chiusano, Anthony (August 29, 2016). "Heisman Watch: Early favorites to take home the trophy in 2016". NCAA.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  29. ^ Ellis, Zach (December 14, 2015). "Heisman Watch: A way-too-early look at the 2016 Heisman race". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  30. ^ Dellenger, Ross (September 20, 2016). "Details of Leonard Fournette's ankle injury? ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch explains...". The Advocate. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  31. ^ Patterson, Chip (August 16, 2016). "Scary scenario for LSU: Leonard Fournette in boot following ankle injury". CBS Sports. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  32. ^ Dellenger, Ross (October 3, 2016). "LSU Practice Report: Still no Leonard Fournette, offensive line rotation and more". The Advocate. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  33. ^ Ching, David (October 22, 2016). "Welcome back, Leonard: Fournette smashes LSU rushing record in return". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  34. ^ Curtis, Charles (November 19, 2016). "LSU's Leonard Fournette, Florida assistant coach part of pregame skirmish". USA Today. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  35. ^ Dellenger, Ross (November 23, 2016). "Source: LSU's Leonard Fournette did not make trip, won't play vs. Texas A&M on Thanksgiving". The Advocate. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  36. ^ Goodbread, Chase (December 5, 2016). "Leonard Fournette intends to enter 2017 NFL Draft". NFL.com. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Leonard Fournette won't play Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl". ESPN.com. December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Leonard Fournette College Stats". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  39. ^ "*Leonard Fournette, DS #1 RB, LSU". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Top 32 Prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  41. ^ Chris Burke (April 24, 2017). "2017 NFL draft rankings: Top prospects by position". si.com. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  42. ^ http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/leonard-fournette?id=2557973
  43. ^ Orr, Conor (April 27, 2017). "Jaguars select RB Leonard Fournette with fourth pick". NFL.com. 
  44. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Leonard Fournette signs rookie deal with Jaguars". NFL.com. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 

External links[edit]