This Is Leonard Fournette's Case For The Heisman
Not only is LSU running back Leonard Fournette busting his way through opposing defenses, he's also bulldozing his way into the record books and into consideration for the 2015 Heisman Trophy.
Fournette's play has been simply jaw-dropping this season.
This 6-foot-1, 230-pound back out of New Orleans, Louisiana, has been utterly unstoppable for the Bayou Bengals through the first four games of the season (their Week 1 game against McNeese State on Sept. 5 was cancelled).
In four games, Fournette's 864 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns rank first in all of college football in those categories. He is also averaging 216 rushing yards per game. The nearest competitor, San Jose State's Tyler Ervin, averages 160.2 yards per game.
Prior to Week 5's game against Eastern Michigan, Fournette became the first LSU player to eclipse the 600-yard mark through three games and the first LSU player to record eight rushing touchdowns through three games.
The last three games--a 45-21 beatdown against Auburn in Week 3, a 34-24 win against Syracuse in Week 4, and a 44-22 win against Eastern Michigan in Week 5--are what have thoroughly propelled Fournette into the driver's seat for this year's Heisman.
In those three games, Fournette has rushed for 228 yards and three TDs, 244 yards and two TDs, and 233 yards and three TDs, respectively, making him the first player in SEC history to rush for over 200 yards in three straight games--an unbelievable achievement.
Leonard Fournette on Saturday: 26 rushes, 233 yards, 3 touchdowns - his SEC-record third straight 200-yard game pic.twitter.com/YUWFoedY5F— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 4, 2015
To provide some context regarding Fournette's achievements, the SEC's second leading rusher, Georgia's Nick Chubb, who is also considered a Heisman contender, has rushed for 745 yards and seven TDs. Chubb has also played one more game than Fournette.
Fournette has been so dominant this season that he even earned the praise of former Georgia Bulldogs running back and 1982 Heisman winner Herschel Walker. Walker, one of the greatest running backs of all time, told TMZ that Fournette is better than he ever was--kind words from the former three-time All-American and two-time NFL Pro Bowler.
In addition, some people are calling for the NCAA to bend the rules and allow Fournette to enter the NFL Draft after this season.
Starting the petition for Leonard Fournette to go the League after this season.— Justise Winslow (@IAmJustise) October 4, 2015
What's so amazing about Fournette is his uncanny combination of elite size and speed--the next Adrian Peterson, anyone?
Fournette is able to crush opposing defenses with his sheer size and strength, adding up to a lot of yards-after-contact. You can call him a bruiser, but the most appropriate term is "launching pad." Just ask Auburn defensive back Tray Matthews. Fournette tossed Matthews over his shoulder, twirling through the air and into the atmosphere, on his way toward a 40-yard touchdown. Every game, Fournette consistently bulldozes his way through defenses en route to the endzone.
Fournette also possesses blazing speed, especially for someone of his size. Reportedly, he runs a 4.35-second 40-yard dash. If this is true, that's .09 seconds faster than six-time NFL Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson. Not only will Fournette run you over, he'll blow by you just as easily.
Leonard Fournette, barring injury or a similar catastrophe, is the clear choice for the 2015 Heisman Trophy, plain and simple. In doing so, he would be the first running back to win the award since 2009 when Alabama's Mark Ingram took home the trophy. And at the moment there's no one even close. It's Fournette or go home.