On Friday, LSU running back Leonard Fournette announced that he will sit out the Citrus Bowl as he prepares for the 2017 NFL Draft.
While Fournette never won a Heisman Trophy or conquered mighty Alabama, he more than lived up to the hype of being the No. 1 overall recruit in 2014. He ran for over 3,000 yards in his LSU career, including a mind boggling 1,953 his sophomore year.
In addition to his impressive yardage, Fournette had an ability to rattle off amazing plays. Whether it be breaking off long runs or putting a defender into the ground, Fournette was a one-man spectacle.
And with his LSU career over, we’ve ranked the best plays of his career. In our best Verne Lundquist voice, these made us say “Wow.”
5. Junior year, running over Ole Miss safety Deontay Anderson
Fournette’s junior year didn’t live up to the immense preseason hype, but we’ll always have the Ole Miss game. After missing a pair of contests due to injury, Fournette returned to action against Ole Miss. And he put on perhaps his greatest game. Fournette found the end zone three times and rushed for a then-school record 284 yards.
But the play of the game for Fournette wasn’t a touchdown run. It was him running over Ole Miss safety Deontay Anderson. It was a violent collision and Fournette came away the winner.
4. Freshman year, Running away from Notre Dame
Fournette teased his monster sophomore season with a strong performance against Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl in 2014. Against Notre Dame, Fournette had just 11 carries. But he rushed for 143 yards, two touchdowns and returned a kick for a touchdown.
The play to remember from this game is Fournette’s 89-yard touchdown run, in which the 230-pound back outran the entire Notre Dame defense.
3. Sophomore year, the 48-yard run against Syracuse
It was a broken play and Fournette still turned it into a positive for LSU. Quarterback Brandon Harris was nearly sacked before just flipping the ball to Fournette. Most of the time, that is an ill-advised play.
But Fournette took the ball and ran 48 yards as only Fournette could.
2. Sophomore year, the business decision against Tray Matthews
The Auburn game in his sophomore year was Fournette’s first statement of the season. He ran for a then career-best 228 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 romp against the Tigers.
Fournette’s most impressive play from the game came on one of his touchdown runs. Auburn safety Tray Matthews had a decision to make. Go low and possibly get pounded into the ground, or go high and completely whiff on Fournette. Matthews went high.
1. Freshman year, Running over Texas A&M
Fournette had a fairly quiet freshman year up until the game against the Aggies. But on Thanksgiving night in 2014, Fournette showed just how talented he was. He rushed for a modest 146 yards in the game, but his lone touchdown is the single best play of his college career.
Words don’t do this stiff arm justice. Just watch the play below and say thank you to Leonard Fournette.