BATON ROUGE, La. — Whittling down the 10 best players on the LSU football team this season was no easy task. And properly ordering them into those 10 spots once we broke it down that far may have proven even more difficult.
But we at SEC Country gave it the old college try as we count down the top Tigers during the next two weeks. When it’s over, feel free to let us know what you think we got right — or wrong.
No. 8: RB Leonard Fournette
Why He’s Here: I know what you’re thinking: Huh?
The only appropriate initial reaction to seeing Fournette this low on the list of LSU’s best players is a Tim Allen grunt. But there is a method to this madness. The Top 10 is based on actual production in 2016. So even though a healthy Leonard Fournette is unquestionably the best player on this football team, unfortunately for LSU fans we did not live in a fantasy land that included a healthy Fournette this year.
But even a hobbled Fournette is better than most of his competitors. Perhaps his finest performance in three years as a Tiger came against Ole Miss, when he needed just 16 carries to set the single-game LSU record with 284 yards. It was like watching a high school game where the only kid on the field who was going Division I was the running back — only in this case, everyone on the field was in Division I.
Though it didn’t end with the trip to New York that everyone hoped for, Fournette’s final season had enough glimpses to show us why he would have been a Heisman finalist had his ankle allowed.
Dollar dollar bills, y’all.
To the consternation of some, Fournette has already signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation agency. This means he can’t be on the sidelines for LSU’s Citrus Bowl game, which he was not going to play in as he rehabs his sprained ankle.
Regardless, Fournette is a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Where he ends up is anyone’s guess.
The massive bust that was Trent Richardson made teams back off on taking running backs early for a couple years. But with Ezekiel Elliott likely to win Rookie of the Year for Dallas, the position may be back in vogue. Fournette may be a Top 10 pick and doesn’t figure to slip any lower than the 20th spot.
Top 10 LSU players
No. 10: DL Davon Godchaux
No. 9: LB Duke Riley