Florida defensive tackle Jon Bullard labeled LSU tailback Leonard Fournette as the best running back in the SEC. Bullard also told the media Tuesday that the Heisman Trophy favorite was, believe it or not, stoppable.
“He’s the best back in the league,” Bullard said. “We’re just going to have to rally to the ball and tackle him. He’s nothing that we can’t stop. We’re all just going to have to rally to the ball because he’s an excellent athlete.”
Bullard showed Fournette plenty of respect, but his comments still may merit as bulletin board material for the sophomore tailback. This isn’t the first time an SEC foe has expressed confidence about stopping Fournette. Auburn defensive back Rudy Ford said similar words before his team’s Week 3 battle with LSU in September. Fournette responded by running for 228 yards and three touchdowns in a game that made him a household name on the national level.
Florida coach Jim McElwain had nothing but good things to say about Fournette. McElwain said Monday that Fournette is one of the best players in the nation.
“Let’s face it, this running back they have — everything you read — should be celebrated because this guy’s the real deal and a lot of fun to watch play the game,” McElwain said. “The guy’s an every down back at the next level and fun to watch.”
Florida’s run defense might be good enough to back up Bullard’s statement. The Gators rank 12th in the nation against the run and have allowed 99.2 rushing yards per game. Opposing runners have averaged just 3.1 yards per carry against the Gators defense this season, which is the 16th stingiest per carry average in the country.
Fournette doesn’t need any extra incentive, but the Gators do present his toughest challenge this season.
Gators DT Jon Bullard on LSU's Fournette: "He's nothing that we can't stop."
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) October 13, 2015