Ivan Maisel has a great article at ESPN.com titled “Leonard Fournette: The best kind of different.” I think Maisel is on to something here about the pheome known as Leonard Fournette.
Forgive me for writing a story that reads like ESPN.com just got T-boned by Buzzfeed. Forgive me for preaching gospel sourced in feel and potential and wonder and three football games. In each of them, Fournette has rushed for more than 200 yards. No one in the history of the Southeastern Conference — neither Herschel nor Bo nor running backs with last names — had ever done that.
But what we have on our hands is bigger than one record. I am here to tell you, as sure as purple goes with gold, as sure as cochon and gumbo are the quintessential tailgate food, as sure as the opposite of stop is geaux, that Fournette is different…
Fournette is no little guy. He is 6-foot-1, 226 pounds, and a guy who moves the way he moves at that size is different.
“He can make them miss,” LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. “Or he can make them wish they hadn’t found him.”…
Fournette is different the way that Bryce Harper is different, the way that Jordan Spieth is different, the way that — I’m going to go ahead and make the leap — LeBron is different. Harper, the 22-year-old outfielder and National League MVP favorite of the Washington Nationals, Spieth, the 22-year-old PGA Tour Player of the Year, and LeBron James, the best basketball player on the planet, all share the same traits.
Each of those three professional athletes, born with preternatural talent, succeeded anyway. All of them, saddled with oversized expectations in high school, ignored the seductions of attention and money to chase greatness. That is harder to do than it sounds. For one thing, everyone wants to be great, right up until they see the workload that it entails. For another, it’s easy to settle for being better than everyone else. It’s a commitment to decide to be the best you can be…
Like LeBron, like Harper and Spieth, Fournette is appointment television. You learn to plan your snack runs and bathroom breaks when they aren’t playing. In his first four games this season, Fournette already has 11 rushes of at least 20 yards, including touchdowns of 75, 62 and 40 yards. He also promises the possibility of those runs against Auburn, when he slung would-be tacklers away as if they were Hollywood extras in a bad college football movie.
“I bounced off him a couple of times,” Syracuse safety Rodney Williams said. “I felt like I wrapped up fairly well. … I thought I had tackled him, and I saw him running 20 more yards.”
If you haven’t been paying attention to Leonard Fournette this season, it’s time to start. This isn’t just something fun for LSU fans like like yours truly. Fournette is a rare talent, a must-see for every college football fan. Read the rest of Maisel’s excellent article here.