BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - We are witnessing history. The golden era of LSU athletics has produced many special heroes - Patrick Peterson, Alex Bregman and Seimone Augustus are just a few worth mentioning. Ben Simmons will soon take the basketball court this fall and likely add his name to the list of true Tiger greats, even if he only plays one college season. However, Leonard Fournette is currently the amazing and freakish young man that wows us and totally captures our imagination.
If viewing this story on a mobile device, click the link for additional features, including a slideshow from LSU vs. Auburn - http://shout.lt/bdhgv
Fournette does things that simply don't make sense. He effortlessly levels opposing defenders like bowling pins and somehow at 230 pounds has the speed to outrun many others to the corner. He can soar through the air like a high jumper and gracefully spin on his toes like a ballet dancer. His first two games of the season have produced six rushing touchdowns. His 387 yards on the ground are the most through two games in LSU history. Against Auburn on Saturday, Fournette looked like a 15-year-old bully playing school yard football against a group of third graders. He toyed with and embarrassed them, doing what he wanted when he wanted to do it.
College football is the ultimate team game. Yet, Leonard Fournette often seemed like a one man event to CBS's nationally televised audience. It's all evolving into a fantasy scenario for the LSU football program. It has a rock star in full pads, a true phenom of the college gridiron and now one of the most recognizable faces in all of athletics, period. Leonard Fournette moves the needle. He electrifies mass audiences and captivates them. He makes each carry a must-see viewing experience. Besides his awesome athletic ability, Fournette is a public relations dream. Was he interested in breaking the LSU single game rushing record Saturday? Absolutely not.
"Give those carries to Darrel Williams, Derrius Guice and Nick Brossette," he basically said. "They need the work and I'd love to see them score."
Is Fournette even interested in this Heisman Trophy? Not really. His heart yearns more to see senior defensive back and team leader Jalen Mills get back on the field after a devastating preseason injury. Fournette thinks about others far more than himself. And the difference is exponential.
"I practice and grind with my team, not the Heisman," he said after the Auburn rout.
Some people say don't talk about that prestigious award two games into the season, that it's way too early for all that nonsense. Odell Beckham Jr. certainly generated Heisman buzz during the beginning of the 2013 season by returning a missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown against UAB. However, Beckham's campaign never really materialized, as the Tigers simply had too many talented and explosive offensive weapons for one to stand above the rest.
"The Honey Badger," Tyrann Mathieu, delivered the most amazing season you could ever expect from a defensive player in 2011. And there lies the key - he was a defensive player. Mathieu was a Heisman finalist in New York, but actually winning the trophy never really seemed realistic.
I've seen enough of Leonard Fournette to know if he maintains his health, he has all the lasting power and intangibles necessary to capture this award. It's clear head coach Les Miles will give him the carries, more than previous LSU backs and the Tigers' late season schedule features a host of massive November contests to fully showcase Fournette's incredible abilities on huge stages - at Alabama, at Ole Miss and at home vs. Texas A&M to name a few. Right or wrong, what's most recent in the voters' memories often is what matters the most.
And perhaps most importantly, this LSU team could be REALLY good. So, go for it Leonard. Your teammates are fully behind you and believe you are deserving. The coaching staff truly believes in "Buga." And the fans couldn't adore No. 7 more. Fournette is without question the real deal, a possible once in a lifetime gift to anyone and everyone associated with LSU football.
And yes, he can definitely win the Heisman Trophy.