LSU Football: What Tigers Fans Should Expect from Leonard Fournette in 2014

Jake Martin@JakeMartinSECCorrespondent IIIFebruary 18, 2014

Jan 2, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Team Highlight running back Leonard Fournette (5) at Tropicana Field. Team Highlight defeated the Team Nitro 31-21.  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Above all else, Leonard Fournette will bring attitude to the LSU Tigers in 2014.

Not the type of attitude that you're immediately assuming though. Instead of a flamboyant attitude that evokes arrogance, Fournette will bring an attitude that simply revolves around being real. He'll do it cohesively with his teammates.

That's the "Buga" lifestyle.

Simply put, there's nothing more real than a 6'1", 226-pound running back accelerating downhill and lowering his pad level. Realism at its most violent.

This physical specimen was molded by hardships that, unfortunately, include losing family members to gunfire and experiencing murders as a young boy, trying to survive a Category 5 hurricane.

What arose from Fournette's upbringing was the Buga attitude, and it's going to lead the way for years to come, no doubt.

Leonard Fournette's Rushing Stats in High School
20101,735 rushing yards22 rush TDs
20111,957 rushing yards19 rush TDs
20122,136 rushing yards31 rush TDs
20131,802 rushing yards18 rush TDs
All stats were obtained through 247 Sports

While attitudes and norms can be learned by surroundings and influences, Fournette's physical gifts cannot be. In fact, Fournette's attributes are unlike any I've seen in recent years, which definitely explain why he's gathered the hype of Louisiana's greatest prospect of all time. Such excitement has generated an expectation of an immediate splash, conquering college football from the moment he runs out of the tunnel.

These are unfair expectations though.

While Fournette has the build, the highlights and the future that will undoubtedly make college football fans blush, he will not be Jeremy Hill in year one. Hill, who became LSU's first 1,000-yard rusher since Stevan Ridley, had a rare mixture of vision, speed, power and agility that LSU fans hope Fournette will replace.

Fans have every right to be hopeful, but a 1,000-yard season with a stacked backfield already is sort of an outrageous expectation. Still, I wouldn't rule out a big year from the freshman though. After all, Fournette is viewed as the greatest running back prospect since Adrian Peterson.

Don't believe the hype—judge for yourself with these highlights.

As you can see, Fournette is a one-of-a-kind athlete. He's a mauler at the running back position, punishing defenders and breaking tackles on his way to the end zone.

He's also a blazer, who possesses enough speed and acceleration to break away from defenders. Combine that with nimble feet, capable hands and a short-yardage producing ability and the Tigers are getting a do-it-all back.

The reason he's destined to contribute immediately within LSU's offense is the situation he's coming into. The Tigers are losing a major piece of their offense at the running back position in Hill. But perhaps even more important for Fournette's immediate success is the fact that Zach Mettenberger, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham will be gone as well.

That means the Tigers will rely heavily on the running game, which isn't a surprise since it's always been LSU's bread and butter. Fournette will excel in a Power I set, and as long as Les Miles is head coach, LSU will run the ball down opponents' throats in the I-formation.

Though Fournette will share the backfield with Terrence Magee, Kenny Hilliard and incoming freshman Darrel Williams, Fournette is still set to hit the ground running at LSU.

With a perfect scenario rocket launching a relationship that was years in the making (Tigers didn't offer big-time running backs in preparation of landing Fournette), Fournette will be featured heavily as a freshman.

It's unwise to get carried away with Heisman numbers in year one, but don't be surprised to see Fournette rock the college football world with highlight runs throughout the season.


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