Raise your hand if Jacksonville Jaguars NFL draft pick Leonard Fournette personally victimized you or someone on a defense you love. Now look around the room and find comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.
As that Louisiana freight train barreled through the South over the last three years, he took the souls of bold defensive players who dared stand between him and green grass. Let us walk through memory lane and view the destruction Fournette left in his wake after three seasons of college football.
Fournette’s trucks are his ethos.
Before you watch them (and, oh, you’re about to watch them down below), listen Fournette talk about what the truck stick means to him.
“Never let nobody tackle you one-on-one.”
Elegant in its savage brevity.
In an SEC carnival of violence, Fournette was often the main attraction. And it’s always been this way, since the moment he burst onto the scene as a dominant running back out of New Orleans in the class of 2014. He was a five-star recruit that year, the No. 1 player in the country on the 247Sports Composite.
This is from our high school scouting report on Fournette.
During a recent track meet, the St. Augustine star posted a 100m time of 10.68, absolutely elite for a running back of his size, which gives him the speed to break long runs to the outside — he's not just a downhill, between-the-tackles runner.
As a result, arm tackle attempts are not nearly enough at the high school level to bring down Fournette, in part because he does a good job in traffic of getting low and behind his pads to present the smallest possible tackling surface, a key trait to possess for a tall running back. Whether low or high, it's extremely difficult to bring him down, a big part of the reason why he scored a touchdown roughly once every six touches as a junior.
As destructive as his power is, his agility’s pretty good, too. He had a poor NFL Scouting Combine in some ways, but he also further demonstrated he’s a huge dude who can move, which is a definite good thing.
With that, it’s time to go through a collection of truck sticks. These run roughly in chronological order, starting with Fournette’s freshman season in 2014 and continuing through his junior season, last year.
1. When Fournette was indeed an instant-impact guy at LSU.
And he was essentially the feature running back midway through his freshman year, 2014. By the end of the year, he was doing things like this.
If it looks familiar, it’s because a different freshman phenom, Herschel Walker, once did something strikingly similar to a defender as a man barely old enough to vote.
The best parts of both of those runs are the churning legs. Neither player really breaks stride after colliding with another man at full speed.
2. Against Notre Dame in a freshman-year bowl game.
A Notre Dame defender tried to tackle him low. It wasn’t a good choice.
3 and 4: Doing lots of terrible things to Auburn in 2015.
At his truckingiest (it’s a word; look it up), Fournette terrorized opponents like Auburn when he did this:
... and this:
Let it not be lost on the viewing public that Fournette shoulder-shrugged a defender off of him like the young man wasn’t even there.
5: This half-stiff arm, half-truck stick move against Florida.
6: This bulldozing of a Texas Tech defender.
And in the bowl game in 2015 against Texas Tech, he did this en route to four touchdowns and 216 yards on the ground:
7: That Ole Miss truck.
When Fournette was healthy and right in 2016, he was delivering shots like this, the physics of which are bonkers.
Remember this about Fournette in 2016: he did everything he did on a bum ankle. Fournette had a sprain that he suffered in preseason camp, and he missed five games because of it. He likely should have missed a sixth, but talked his coaches into letting him play Florida after a fracas before the game.
8. Missisistiff arm
9. A season-opening smackdown against Wisconsin
Fournette didn’t play in a bowl game in his senior year, reportedly resting up ahead of his draft prep at his head coach’s urging. He’s onto the NFL now. Fournette trucked his fair share of men in college, and I can’t what to see what he’ll do at the next level.