“Simply put, Leonard Fournette is one of the most complete running backs I have ever watched live and in person, and is absolutely the textbook feature back for an NFL offense. He has the one-cut explosiveness for zone running and the power for inside gap schemes as well, and he is a true every down back — dedicated and instinctive in blitz pickup, and with soft hands to catch the ball. Like Adams, Fournette was a heartbeat player for LSU, and somebody that has lived in the spotlight since early in his high school career. He should adapt to the pro ranks very quickly.” — Read More at And the Valley Shook
A relative slump kept him out of the discussion for 2017’s top spot — a bum ankle limited him to only seven games — but he showed flashes of the potential that should make him an impact runner in the pros. He set a school record with a 284-yard, three-touchdown performance against Ole Miss in October, but gained just 173 more to close out a disappointing junior year.
That nagging injury led him to sit out the Citrus Bowl rather than risk putting his draft stock in jeopardy at the behest of head coach, Ed Orgeron. He returned from injury bigger than ever. Most of his numbers at the event underwhelmed, but that 40 time, even though it ranked 10th in position group, was impressive, given his size.
But most of those stats were from the final games of the Tide’s seasons. He only had two 100-yard games in his entire college career, despite being one of the highest-rated TE recruits ever.
So you’re probably thinking: Wait, how does a former star recruit end up having such low numbers? Well for starters, Alabama and Nick Saban don’t utilize tight ends that much. But the thing about Howard that makes him so unique is that his biggest games were on the Tide’s biggest stages.
The story of O.J. Howard’s journey from small-town Alabama to National Championship MVP.