At Leonard Fournette’s current torrid pace — he leads the country in rushing yards per game and averages 8.6 yards per carry — the NFL seems an almost certainty for the true sophomore. It’s not a question of if, but when.
But NFL rules state a player cannot enter the draft until three years have passed since he was in high school.
Fournette’s incredible start to the 2015 season has sparked a debate centered on Fournette’s future. LSU’s Sports Information Director, Michael Bonnette, expressed his disgust over a recent article written by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that suggests Fournette would be better off taking a break in 2016 to prepare for the pros.
This is insulting to Leonard the person.Can't he get credit for also being high-character guy,loves his team & LSU https://t.co/DJ6X0vjF3A
— Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette) September 30, 2015
There have been plenty of opinions from former players, coaches, media members and other pundits about Fournette’s future. The one person who hasn’t been heard from is Fournette. He addressed his future in a subtle message on Twitter.
I will never jump ship… I'm drowning with my brothers
— 7⃣ (@_fournette) September 30, 2015
Fournette seems destined to stick with the Tigers through the 2016 and maybe the 2017 season. But that won’t stifle the speculation from flowing.
LSU coach Les Miles was asked about preserving his star tailback during Wednesday’s SEC teleconference. He said keeping Fournette fresh was a priority and emphasized he will take care of Fournette on and off the field.
Alabama coach Nick Saban faced a similar situation with Julio Jones in 2010. Saban believes players are better off staying in school than leaving early.
Georgia legend Herschel Walker lauded Fournette’s talent, but advised him to stay in school.
ESPN’s Mike Greenberg believes nobody should be able to prevent Fournette from garnering any potential earning at the next level.
If someone is willing to pay Leonard Fournette, or anyone, millions to play football, or do anything, no one should stand in the way.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) September 30, 2015
ESPN’s Joe Schad brought up Fournette’s remarks about being ready to go pro. Fournette told Schad that some underclassmen “may be physically but not mentally ready to advance to the NFL.
Gannett’s Glenn Guilbeau commented that once Fournette goes pro, it becomes more of a business than at LSU.
And remember, LSU – or most major colleges – likely to care for Fournette's well being more than any NFL team. It's more business up there.
— Glenn Guilbeau (@LSUBeatTweet) September 30, 2015