Heisman Trophy Candidate 2016: Leonard Fournette

The NCAA operates somewhat like a “minor league development program” for the NFL.  Big universities and small colleges all over the United States participate in men’s football.

LSU's Leonard Fournette

LSU’s Leonard Fournette

These schools develop the players that will eventually become star performers in the professional game. In fact, scouts for every NFL team regularly attend college games to watch, rate and evaluate the best prospects.

Of course, the players that will be chosen in the first round are easy to spot because their play on the gridiron stands out and they win prestigious individual awards that mark them as “special.”

The Heisman Trophy may be the most important award. It recognizes a player for excellence on the field,  and for leadership, as well. Winners are often chosen from the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions. They are all skill players and their performances help them to stand out and be noticed.

Award winners are almost always chosen by NFL teams early in the first round of the “pro draft.” Clearly, it is an important award that the best college players want to win. It can lead to fame and fortune.

The best players from top college football programs are usually Heisman Trophy candidates. One of this year’s most highly-rated players and someone who may be a favorite to win the critically-important honor is Leonard Fournette, a 6’1” two hundred thirty pound sophomore running back for the Tigers of Louisiana State University.

Born twenty years ago on January 18, 1995, this still-growing star player was spotted by college and pro scouts while still in St. Augustine High School back in 2012. As might be expected, Fournette was heavily recruited by several top college football programs, but chose to remain close to home as a student at LSU.

This incredibly dynamic young player set a school record when as a freshman, he ran for one thousand thirty-two yards and ten touchdowns. His on-field performance was noticed and Leonard Fournette was voted on to the 2014 All-SEC Freshman Team.

The always-improving running back was expected to showcase his skill, athleticism and amazing rushing ability in the current 2015-2016 Season and he has done just that. Selected as a 2015 Pre-Season All-American candidate and a major threat to win this year’s Heisman Trophy, Fournette has lived up to his billing.

In this, his sophomore season, America’s top collegiate running back has amassed a remarkable and eye-opening 1,202 years and 14 touchdowns on just one hundred fifty carries. That means he has averaged eight yards per carry.

Perhaps that is why NFL.com has called him “one of the top fifteen scariest players in college football this year.” Fournette’s amazing production has not gone unnoticed. He has a great chance of winning the Heisman Trophy. In fact, his selection will come as no surprise to scouts and pundits.

Of course, Fournette needs to continue playing as well in future games as he has played in games he has already helped his team to win.

image courtesy of foxsports.com

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