LSU running back Leonard Fournette was contained by an opposing defense for a second straight week, as the Tigers dropped a second straight game. Arkansas held Fournette to just 91 yards and rushing touchdown in a week that also saw reports of LSU investigating Fournette’s family for possible NCAA rules violations related to the selling of merchandise. Still another year away from being able to declare early for the NFL Draft, the discussion of whether or not Fournette should sit out the 2016 season to focus on training for the NFL scouting combine may eventually pick up, and it has been mentioned before already. Such talk tends to be silly, but one current NFL running back has some advice for Fournette.
Speaking from experience, former Georgia running back and current St. Louis Ram Todd Gurley says he believes Fournette should absolutely play football in 2016.
Gurley jumped from Georgia into the 2015 NFL Draft last season, but he did so as a junior that was looking like a lock for a first round draft selection before tearing his ACL later in the season. Last season, Gurley was suspended for what turned out to be four games after he admitted to accepting money for autographs. In his first game back from the suspension, Gurley tore his ACL to end his once-promising season.
There may be some pressure from those connected to the NFL for Fournette to be the first player to actually sit out a college football season in order to train for the next level, but the odds of that actually happening may not be very good. South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney was faced with similar pressure and attention, but the defensive end returned for one more season at South Carolina before entering the NFL Draft and becoming a top pick of the Houston Texans. Running backs have relatively short lifespans in the NFL, to staying healthy in college is key for many. Just ask Marcus Lattimore. Fournette may have little more to prove, but he don’t expect him to sit out the 2016 season in Baton Rouge.