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Leonard Fournette | Running Back

Team: LSU Tigers
Age / DOB:  (21) / 1/18/1995
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 230

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LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette was evasive when asked if this was his last year in college.
"I enjoy college," he said. "Everything is free. I don’t have to pay for nothing." On the flip side, next year he'll have the money to pay for everything. Barring an injury or a near unprecedented decision, Fournette will be coming to an NFL stadium near you next fall. Jul 14 - 6:42 PM

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LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette is listed as Bovada's Heisman favorite with 9/2 odds.

Fournette just hurdled his way over Deshaun Watson, who himself had 9/2 Heisman odds earlier this offseason. Bovada has adjusted the gunslinger to 5/1. That pair is followed up by Christian McCaffrey (11/2), with J.T. Barrett, Baker Mayfield and Dalvin Cook all chilling at 12/1. If you are looking for an interesting long-shot, Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer are listed at 28/1. Both men have received low-grade dark horse buzz this offseason.
Jul 1 - 2:15 PM

Pro Football pegs LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette No. 2 on its preseason Heisman list.

He slides in behind Christian McCaffrey. Last season, Fournette earned PFF's highest rushing grade and broke the most tackles with 85. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder "looked more agile last year," wrote Steve Palazzolo, "adding a shifty component to his already-impressive combination of size and speed." PFF thought Fournette had a better season than Derrick Henry on a per-snap basis last year. Palazzolo believes "it’s possible that Fournette takes another big step forward as a junior and that’s a scary proposition for opposing defenses."
Jun 22 - 7:41 PM

An anonymous SEC defensive coach explained to ESPN that Alabama found success against LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette in 2015 because they "had two guys touching him when he got to the line of scrimmage."

"You have to get more guys to him, which involves getting off blocks and having the talent to limit the space that he's in," the coach said. "Everybody else is praying they can hold the guy under 200 yards, and to them it was like, 'How many tackles for loss are we going to get?'" The unspoken point here is that most teams simply don't have Alabama's defensive talent. Fournette's numbers bear that out well enough. Last season, he failed to surpass 100 yards rushing in just two of 12 games -- against Alabama (31 yards) and against Arkansas (91 yards). Those games were played in consecutive weeks in November.
Jun 19 - 1:20 PM

LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette indicated that he felt like he let people down with his performance against Alabama last season.

Fournette started out the 2015 campaign like a runaway freight train before crashing into Alabama's freight train-busting defense on November 8. He finished the game with just 31 yards rushing. Said Fournette, "[Failing to live up to expectation] was the toughest part. Everybody was down on me: ‘Thirty-one yards and he was not what we expected." The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder said that the tough game strengthened his ties with his coaches and teammates. This season, he will have another crack at Alabama on November 5. If he comes through in that one, it might be enough to boost him to a Heisman showing, assuming the rest of the season unfolds as expected for the star junior.
Jun 17 - 1:43 PM

LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette finished with Pro Football Focus' highest running back grade last season.

Fournette led the country in broken tackles last season (85 as a runner, 10 as a receiver). "But what earns him Adrian Peterson comparisons is his combination of strength and speed," Jeff Dooley wrote. "834 of his 1,916 rushing yards last season came on runs of 15 yards or longer, making him a true breakaway threat in addition to his between-the-tackles effectiveness (on rushes on either side of the center, Fournette averaged 6.5 yards per carry)." This offseason, we've also seen Fournette compared to everyone from Bo Jackson to LeBron James. Yeah, we can't wait for the fall either.
Jun 8 - 5:02 PM

A veteran personnel man who spoke with NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah after LSU's Texas Bowl win over Texas Tech compared LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette to LeBron James.

Jeremiah doesn't dive into specifics of the personnel man's comparison, but Fournette rushed for 212 yards and five touchdowns in throttling Texas Tech in that bowl game and the 6-foot-1, 230-pounder displays the same terrifying blend of strength and speed that make LeBron such a weapon. As far as cross-sport comparisons go, that works well enough. And Jeremiah, himself, offered another interesting comparison -- he sees Fournette as a splice between Frank Gore and Todd Gurley. The analyst did offer a few choice criticisms (they are hard to come by with Fournette), noting that his route-running remains somewhat raw, as does his pass-blocking. Jeremiah thinks this is simply due to Fournette's lack of reps in those areas.
Jun 7 - 1:04 PM

ESPN's Edward Aschoff predicted that eight running backs in the SEC will surpass 1,000 yards rushing in 2016.

A year ago, the SEC housed nine backs who ticked over the 1,000-yard mark. That tied with the Mountain West for most in the country by a conference. Four of those nine (LSU's Leonard Fournette, Georgia's Sony Michel, Vanderbilt's Ralph Webb and Tennessee's Jalen Hurd) return for another crack at it this season. All of them make Aschoff's predictive 1,000-yard list for 2016. He actually likes both Michel and the returning Nick Chubb (knee) to achieve the feat for the Bulldogs. Alabama's Bo Scarbrough, Auburn's Jovon Robinson and Kentucky's Boom Williams round out Aschoff's crew of prolific rushers.
Jun 4 - 2:09 PM

LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette runs a 4.35 second 40-yard dash and power squats 600 pounds.

You get the idea that Fournette is capable of both when watching him on the field, but the above concrete numbers confirm that he's just as big of a freak in the weight room and on the track as he is on the gridiron. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder is most often compared to Adrian Peterson and Bo Jackson. As a true sophomore, Fournette posted 1,953 yards rushing and ranked fourth nationally with 22 rushing scores.
Jun 3 - 7:02 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang wrote that LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette "just has to stay healthy to earn a top 10 pick in 2016."

So far, so good. Fournette has played in all 15 games since joining the Tigers. It was revealed last week that the LSU star has a pair of $10 million insurance policies for any potential career-ending injury or unexpected draft slide. Rang referenced the hallowed names of Adrian Peterson and Bo Jackson when offering comps for the 6-foot-1, 230-pounder. The analyst ranks Fournette as his No. 1 overall underclassman prospect. It is very, very unlikely that he returns for his senior season, though stranger things have happened in the history of mankind.
Source: CBS Sports
May 19 - 4:00 PM

LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette responded to HC Les Miles' comments regarding potential unwanted bulk, tweeting "I lost that weight for you big man."

First, we whole-heartedly approve of players casually referring to their coaches as "big man." It is adorable. As to the context of Fournette's comment, Miles has indicated multiple times this offseason that he thinks the 6-foot-1, 230-pounder needs to cut around five pounds (225 is the vague target that Miles set) to ensure that his "strength and speed are maximized." There is nothing wrong with Miles wanting Fournette to cut weight -- plenty of coaches are surely having internal conversations regarding their own players when it comes to conditioning -- but it is odd, to say the least, that Miles has made these comments publicly about his star running back not once, not twice, but three times this offseason.
May 13 - 10:18 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter ranked LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette as the second-best player in college football.

Deshaun Watson was No. 1. "Everything that is said about Ezekiel Elliott right now goes for Fournette," Reuter wrote. "The 'five-tool back' has speed, power, agility, can catch the ball and block. His Heisman Trophy chances went by the wayside with his 43-yard performance against Alabama last season, but a strong finish to his 2016 season should lead to an invitation to the ceremony in December." Fournette posted 1,953 yards rushing as a true sophomore last season and led the SEC with 22 rushing touchdowns.
May 13 - 5:26 PM

LSU HC Les Miles reiterated that he wants junior RB Leonard Fournette to lose weight.

"Leonard was 235 to 233 or so during spring. We want him right around 225 so his strength and speed are maximized," Miles said on The Paul Finebaum Show. "He’s an elite guy and he wants to be an elite body as he goes into fall. Certainly this summer will provide him with that opportunity ... I think he’s poised to be better than he was last year." Miles has stated this opinion publicly at least three times. Fournette led the FBS with a 162.8 yard per game average last year, converting exactly 300 carries into a school-record 1,953 yards a school-record 22 rushing touchdowns. LSU opens against Wisconsin on Sept. 3 in Lambeau Field.
Source: ESPN Radio
May 13 - 3:44 PM

LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd that he has two $10 million insurance policies.

As to the exact nature of the policies, Dodd wrote that they "cover him for $10 million in total disability in the event of a career-ending injury and $10 million for circumstances that would lead to him falling from his projected NFL draft spot." The former is probably the more noteworthy one here. Following Georgia RB Nick Chubb's significant knee injury last season, there was talk that Fournette might sit out the 2016 season in order to protect his health. That was never going to happen, but shows just how much the prospect of injury in college weighs over the heads of NFL-hopeful players. Fournette has dismissed all of this multiple times, telling CBS Sports, "I don't think about it. This is the second time I'm actually talking about it. I leave everything in God's hands." The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder is a potential top-10 or even top-5 selection for next spring's draft (assuming he declares, assuming he stays healthy).
Source: CBS Sports
May 12 - 4:30 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranked LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette No. 3 on his 2017 Big Board.

"Big, bruising, fast ... but let's keep an eye on the mileage," he wrote. "Fournette is a dynamic talent, that rare running back who generates excitement for teams drafting in Round 1. But he carried 300 times last season and is at 487 carries in two years. Will LSU use him up?" Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Florida State RB Dalvin Cook slightly ahead of Fournette as the top RB in the class.
May 11 - 3:31 PM