In January of last year I published a story where I called for a relative unknown by the name of Dak Prescott to be drafted in the 1st round. I made many people’s heads spin by my prediction and the ability to see so far down the line. I complimented his maturity, his arm strength, and him possessing that IT factor way before most experts caught on to what I had seen since he was at Miss St. Don’t forget that Prescott was named NFL rookie of the year and led the Cowboys to the best seed in the NFC. So, when I say listen to me because Fournette is going to be an all-time great, I’m hoping what I said about Prescott sticks in your head.
It’s been years since I looked at a college football player and said to myself, “What is this guy doing in college? He needs to be playing in the NFL.” For the last three years I’ve watched Leonard Fournette shred defenses up and down this great nation of ours. Defensive coordinators tailored their game-plan around him and he would run over defenders like an 18 wheeler rolling down hill. LSU’s quarterbacks were so bad during Fournette’s tenure there that I had to google who they were. Think about that, if I had to google those guys, do you think the coaches playing LSU were thinking about what the QB was going to do? The answer is no. To be point-blank, everybody in the stadium knew that 50% of the time the ball was going to #7. In 2015, Fournette rushed for a school record 1,953 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, that’s when I knew this guy was on Adrian Peterson’s level. And when I say that I don’t mean just what he might accomplish in this league, I mean that he’s one of those few gifted athletes that we may have to bend the rules for.
I watched Adrian Peterson shred Texas for three years, every time I saw him play against my beloved Longhorns I thought the same thing, “This guy is just too good, can we just get him to the NFL so we don’t have to deal with him anymore?” That may have been the Longhorn fan in me speaking out, or it could have been the beginning of something. It sparked the thought that maybe if a guy was ready to leave before his third year removed from HS graduation then he should be able to. The NCAA can gather a sanctioning body and if they feel this athlete is physically and mentally capable of competing in the NFL, then let it be. The risk of getting injured in football is much greater than it is in basketball, I say give guys like Fournette and Peterson the chance to feed their families before the career is derailed before it even gets off the ground. This all comes back to one single point, if you paid the players then this wouldn’t be a big deal, but that’s for another time.
I’ve watched Fournette closely for three years, in those three years I’ve learned three things:
- He will run around OR over you, pick your poison, either way he’s delivering.
- Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Adrian Peterson are guys I see in his running style.
- Fournette is the best RB in LSU history.
Debate me all you want, but before you do that make sure you take a few minutes to watch the video below. Press play and be ready to watch a man among children.
The only thing more impressive than Fournette’s 6’0 240 lbs frame is what he can do with it. At the NFL combine he clocked in at 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash. That means that a man weighing 50 lbs more than most corner backs in the league is just as fast, if not faster, than most guys being counted on to tackle him in the open field. Say he doesn’t out run you, he’ll be able to lower that shoulder down and gain those ever so valuable YAC yards (yards after carry). Fournette averaged 3 yards per carry after contact in college, when you hit this guy he never goes back, the momentum of his huge frame keeps him going forward.
It’s not every day that you get a RB who can hit the gap at full speed and out run every position on the defensive side of the ball. It’s not every day that you get a RB who can run over any player that you set in front of him on any level of the D. It’s not every day that you get a RB who has the vision and awareness to avoid hits. The only thing rarer than what I just mentioned is finding a player who posses all those skills. That kind of player only comes around once in a few decades, and when you get one of those players you should take notice.
When Fournette is drafted this April there’s one thing that I know for sure, and that is before he takes a single NFL snap, Fournette will already be the third best back in the league behind only Leveon Bell and Ezekiel Elliot. With Adrian Peterson reaching the end of his career, Fournette will be the next physical specimen at RB. I believe Bell and Elliot wouldn’t be as successful as they are if they didn’t land in the perfect situation that they did. Both Pittsburgh and Dallas are fitted for both RB’s style. The difference with Fournette is that in a few years were not going to be arguing where does he rank among current RB’s, we’re going to be arguing where he ranks all-time.