Welcome To The Heisman Conversation Leonard Fournette
The college football season is a few weeks in and everyone is starting to look towards who are the teams that will make it to the playoffs. Along with looking at that picture, many are taking a peek at the stars of college football. Guys like USC’s Cody Kessler and TCU’s Trevone Boykin were the names that many spoke of when it came to the next Heisman trophy winner. But like every season, there is someone that comes out of nowhere. A couple years ago it was redshirt freshman Jameis Winston from Florida State that came out of nowhere to win the Heisman. And along with winning the Heisman, he took his team all the way to the National Title. Before Winston, there was also another redshirt freshman that won college football’s most prestigious award. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel was magical in his first year in college football. The Texas high school legend took over the college football world as he took on all challenges and electrified the sports world. His most signature moment was against the Alabama Crimson Tide, when he took his team into Bryant-Denny Stadium and beat the top-ranked team in the nation. Well this year’s darkhorse may not be a freshman, but he is definitely taking advantage of having the stage almost all to himself. He has been talked about ever since he committed to LSU and many wondered when he would have his potential Heisman moment. Well, it did not come as quickly as some thought.
Leonard Fournette arrived at LSU with much hype. The 6’1”, 230 pound running back from New Orleans, Louisiana was wanted by ever major program in the county and chose to go to LSU. And immediately, the thoughts of what he could do began to rumble throughout college football and the Southeastern Conference. Well, at the beginning things were slow for him. Fournette was playing for a coach that believed in rotating running backs. In his first year, he was not clearly the lead guy in the pack. Senior running backs Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard were the main players along with Fournette. The freshman running back would end up getting the most carries and yards of any of the three, but he also had to split a ton of carries with those three. As a result, it seemed like Fournette would never get in a rotation that allowed him to fully become engaged in the game. He would end up rushing for 1,034 yards, but there was much more expected of him. Going into his sophomore season, it seems as if they have made it a priority to make Fournette the lead dog in the pack. Fournette has the most carries of all the running backs this season so far and there is no one even close to where he is. And for the season so far, Fournette has four straight 100 yard rushing games. And he topped it off with the performance he had this past Saturday against the Auburn Tigers.
It seemed like all week the Auburn Tigers were talking to Leonard Fournette. They were speaking carelessly about him to the media like he was just some nobody that could do nothing about it. Fournette did not say much about the talk from Auburn, but he let his actions speak for him. The big back with jets came out focused and he can definitely thank Auburn for lighting an even brighter fire up under him. He ran over, around and through the Auburn defense to the tune of 228 yards and three touchdowns. Fournette was a one-man wrecking crew. And with that performance, Fournette now has made his mark and struck a chord in the national media. To be a man of his size and have some of the quickness he has along with the speed he possesses is truly a gift he was given. The moment has finally come for him and now he has officially entered the Heisman race. And looking at the landscape, he actually does have a chance to win the award. Kessler and the USC Trojans lost to the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night, so that brought his star down some. And TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin has been erratic all season long. That alone has him getting a look from some right there. But with the performance today, he definitely has vaulted to the top of the list.
Fournette is a monster at running back and he definitely handed it to the Auburn Tigers. But going forward, he is going to have to have strong performances every single week. A 200+ yard performance may be asking a lot every week, but at least he has to get 125-150 a game and one or two touchdowns for him to have a chance at the Heisman Trophy this year. The National Title is something that he probably wants more than the Heisman Trophy, but if he is able to carry this team like he has so far, then he could put himself in position to make both happen in one season. And that right there is what makes players like Fournette legends.