Since joining the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017, Leonard Fournette hasn’t had the greatest time of his football career. This has been due to injuries, and suspensions. However, we cannot deny the fact that he deserves to be listed amongst the few bigger names in the American Football League. At the age 24, this Jacksonville Jaguars’ running back already has 4 of the most coveted accolades in his closet. Even though Jacksonville Jaguars has never reached, or won the Super Bowl, Leonard is arguably one of the best running backs also referred to as power backs in history. He joins the likes of Earl Campbell, Bronko Nagurski, and NFL all-time leading rusher, Emmit Smith.
He was the consensus All – America in 2015. After his sophomore season in 2015, he was regarded best player in college football. Some experts could not help but compare him to the all-time great Herschel Walker who was a 3-time-consensus All – America. Despite his outstanding talent coupled with a bigger and stronger body, he’s not your typical superstar. His teammates describe him as “humble’. He’s about teamwork, and never let his fame get into his head. Here are 10 things you may have missed about this NFL star:
10. According to him, the 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit was a blessing in disguise
During the hurricane evacuation, Fournette’s family was moved to Houston. A year later, they made their way back to New Orleans, and that’s when he joined St. Augustine High School. He then took part in athletics and football, before deciding to focus on football. It’s during this time that he went ahead to win his very first career award twice (2012, 2013).
9. He was the 4th pick in 2017 NFL draft
He might not be at his best form right now, but still, he is the only young ‘power back’ with 162.8 rushing yards/game. He’s certainly, “the man to beat”. He only needs to have a slight turn- around of his attitude, get his professionalism back, then he can join the Hall of Fame names like Earl Campbell, Emmit Smith. After he retires, that is.
8. He is not married but has 2 kids with 2 different women
Fournette has a 3-year-old, beautiful daughter with his ex-girlfriend Jamie Jones. Even though they are not together, they maintain a good and healthy relationship. In May 2017, he had a son, Leonard IV with another woman.
7. He comes from a talented family
Fournette, who once played for Louisiana State University, has a brother at the same college who’s a running back just like him. At a young age, as he played football with his cousins, he made up his mind to pursue the career. This happened after his dad saw potential in him.
6. He is also a superb athlete
In High School, he took part in the 200m track race – clocking at 21.57 secs and was marked fastest in 4A. He participated in the 800m and 400m relay respectively.
5. He was Heishman trophy favorite for 2016 season but sustained an ankle sprain
He was fortunate to make his return for the season opener against Wisconsin but got twice unlucky. Again. He bruised the same ankle, and hence, had to miss next week game against Jacksonville State. In September 24th, he ankle was re-injured in a game against Auburn, who are their main rival in the Sec West. He ended up missing the next two games.
4. At 24 years of age, and only at his second season, he’s won 4 of the most coveted career awards
While at St. Augustine, he won the USA Today High School All – America Twice (2012, and 2013). However, 2015 marked the peak of his career in football. He won the consensus All – America, as well as, First-team All-SEC, while at Louisiana State University. In 2016, he went ahead to win Second – team ALL-SEC.
3. He’s built his life around the “BUGA” nation mentality
The acronym simply stands for” Being United Generates an Attitude”. According to him, it means being “REAL”. He claims, his daughter sits right at the center of his “BUGA” life.
Recently, he created “BUGA” 5 annual awards for students and teachers at St. Augustine. He did this together with his new partners and Under Armour. As a way of giving back to society.
In February 2017, they released the ‘BuGA’ website: www.buganation.com
2. He’s one of the highest paid players on the Jaguars roster
But not close to the highest paid player Overall, Andrew Norwell (Guard) is at $25 million dollars; Blake Bortles at $16.5 million. Fournette is at $8.9 million dollars. This pay could, however, be in jeopardy since the Jaguars decided to void the $7 million dollars in guaranteed money – remaining in his contract. The guarantee was voided as a result of his one-game suspension in 2018. He’s since filed a challenge with the NFL.
1. Since joining Jacksonville as the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, he’s struggled to stay on the field
Fournette has missed nine games with injuries in two seasons. Last season, he was benched for violating team rules. This season, he has been suspended in one game. This came after he was ejected from a game against Bills. This unprofessionalism on Fournette’s side has led to a roller coaster relationship between him, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Hence, the voiding of the guaranteed money in his 4 – year contract.