Leonard Fournette's soccer timeline, from LSU to Jaguar's launch for Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette was a winding road to Super Bowl 55.
The fourth year in a row that has long been considered the best in his position – be it in high school, college football or the NFL draft – is set to help the Buccaneers only win their second Super Bowl title on Sunday. This was less than three years from the jaguars' elaboration.
Although Fournette did not have the start to his professional career he would have wished for, he is still able to make an important contribution to the Tampa Bay Super Bowl offering. He had modest stats in 2020 (97 rushes, 367 yards, six touchdowns), but he was excellent in the postseason, racing for 211 yards and two points.
What comes next for the return remains to be seen, but it can certainly make itself more valuable with a big game at Raymond James Stadium.
Here's the timeline that Fournette landed on with the Bucs: from LSU to Jacksonville to Tampa Bay.
February 5, 2014: Fournette signs with LSU
On February 5, 2015, Fournette signed – as the top 5 consensus recruit and number 1 in the 247Sports Composite rankings – with the LSU of St. Augustine High School (New Orleans). Fournette was the crown jewel of the 2014 LSU class, which included four five-star players and seven top 100 players.
It's easy to understand why Fournette, who often made comparisons with Adrian Peterson, was so coveted: Per MaxPreps, Fournette had a total of 5,306 meters to scrimmage and 70 touchdowns in three seasons. His 247Sports Scouting report rates him at least 8 – on a 10-point scale – in Build (10); Tackle breaking (10); Speed (9); Power (9); Explosiveness (9); Feet (8); Change of direction (8); and vision (8).
To date, Fournette is the 16th highest recruit of all time in the 247Sports database. (He is strangely connected to Peterson). Joe McKnight (12th place) is the only one running back to get a higher rank.
2014-16: Fournettes LSU career
2014: Freshman season
Fournette didn't get off to a hot start to his college career, rushing just 200 yards and two touchdowns in the first four games of the season. In the final nine games of the season, he plunged 834 yards and eight touchdowns, earning 1,034 rushing yards and 11 rushing scores for the season. That stat was broken by five games with at least 100 rushing yards, including two games with 146 and 143 yards at the end of the season against Texas A&M and Notre Dame.
2015: Second season
Fournette experienced a breakout season in 2015 when he was once the favorite to win the coveted Heisman Trophy. He rushed no less than 150 yards in each of the first seven games earlier in the season, surpassing his first season with 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns when the Tigers jumped to a 7-0 start.
More impressive was his three-game streak of at least 200 yards against Auburn, Syracuse and Eastern Michigan, teams that gave up an average of 235 yards and 2.67 touchdowns per game against him. Fournette also had an 87-yard touchdown against the Orange, which was canceled by an illegal formation or his stat line would have been even more outrageous. Regardless, he was the first player in SEC history to dash 200 yards or more in three consecutive games.
Fournette's Heisman campaign came to a screeching halt against Alabama in Week 9; Ranked number two in the nation, LSU failed to break through Alabama's defense in fourth place as Fournette battled for a game with 19 transfers, 31 yards. Coupled with Derrick Henry's 210-yard, three-touchdown game, it was the first big blow for Fournettes' otherwise excellent season. He followed up that game with a 91-yard game against Arkansas.
Fournette finished the 2015 race with 1,953 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, finishing sixth in the Heisman Trophy vote while earning consensus All-America status (Henry was the only unanimous selection, while Dalvin Cook of the US Florida State and Stanford's Christian McCaffrey at least also earned a first-team selection).
2016: Junior season
Fournette was one of the preseason favorites to win the 2016 Heisman, but his final season at LSU got pretty derailed before it started. He suffered a severe sprain of his ankle the previous season. He was good enough to open the season against LSU. He raced for 123 yards 23 times but suffered a bruise on the same ankle late in the defeat.
Fournette missed several games as he continued to injure himself with the same ankle and played in just seven games. A high point came on October 22nd when Fournette scored three touchdowns and an LSU record of 284 yards against Ole Miss. He then played only three more games, missed the final of the regular season due to injury and did not choose to win the team's Citrus Bowl against Louisville.
His junior season stats (843 yards, eight quick touchdowns) were the worst of his three Baton Rouge seasons, but Fournette still ended up with 3,830 yards and 40 quick touchdowns.
April 27, 2017: Jaguars draw Fournette No. 4 overall
The Jaguars picked Fournette as their top pick, making him the first of 26 running backs in the 2017 rookie class.
Several running backs, who were selected after Fournette, received Pro Bowl status with their respective teams: Christian McCaffrey (round 1, selection 8); Dalvin Cook (Round 2, Choice 41); Alvin Kamara (round 3, selection 67); Kareem Hunt (Round 3, Choice 86); James Conner (round 3, choice 105); Tarik Cohen (Round 4, Selection 119); and Aaron Jones (round 5, option 182).
2017-19: Fournette & # 39; s Jaguar's career
Fournette rushed for 1,040 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie campaign, starting his career with 100 yards and a score (to 26 carry) against Houston. In four more games in 2017 – including a 181-yard game against Pittsburgh – he rushed 100 yards and helped the Jaguars reach the AFC playoffs with a 10-6 record.
In Jacksonville's first postseason game, Fournette fought 51 yards with a 10-3 win over the Bills. In the following game, he rushed for 109 yards and three points in a 45-42 win over the Steelers. He followed with a 74-yard one-touchdown game in the AFC Championship, though the Jaguars ultimately lost 24:20 to New England.
Fournette was again affected by the injury error in 2018 and missed seven games with an injured Achilles tendon, which were suffered in the season opening win against the Giants. In his first return leg after two missed games, he worsened the injury again and was excluded for an indefinite period. He missed another four games before returning to amass 109 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns against the Colts. His best game came two weeks later in Week 12 when he rushed against the Bills for 95 yards and two points.
Unfortunately, he and Bill defender Shaq Lawson were thrown out in a brawl between the teams. After the fight, he was suspended from one game, causing Jacksonville to void his remaining guarantees. When he came back in week 14, he was seen on a video telling a fan he was going to "be a – bang". The then Vice President of Jacksonville, Tom Coughlin, also criticized Fournette in the 2018 season finale for appearing disinterested in a 20-3 loss to the Texans (he was inactive) on the bench.
Fournette finished the 2018 season with 439 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns as well as 22 receptions, 185 receiving yards and one score.
Fournette got off to another slow start in 2019, racing 66, 47 and 66 yards, respectively, in his first three games. In Week 4, he finally broke through with a 225-yard rush against the Broncos. He followed with 100-yard games in two of his next three games, but did not cross the century mark for the remainder of the season. He finished the race with just three quick touchdowns, despite hitting a career high of 1,152 yards in his third year.
April 11, 2019: Fournette arrested after driving with her license suspended
Prior to his final season in Jacksonville, Fournette was arrested in Florida on April 11, 2019 after stopping 65 mph in a 45-mile zone. During the traffic obstruction, officers discovered that he had been driving with a driver's license. According to news channel WJAX-TV (Jacksonville, Fla.), It had been suspended a month earlier after failing to pay out a November 2018 parking ticket. He originally received the quote after driving 37 mph in a 25 mile zone.
WJAX-TV reported that Fournette initially told the arresting officers that he forgot his license with TIAA Bank Field before admitting he didn't have one because it was suspended. Fournette reportedly put on a $ 1,508 bond and was released after just 24 minutes in detention. He was accused of speeding and knowingly driving with a suspended, canceled, or revoked driver's license. He also faced two cases of incorrect window tinting.
BREAKING: #Jaguars star running back Leonard Fournette was arrested after a traffic violation. This is an exclusive video as we saw it posted at Duval County Jail around 2:30 pm today. comes from a November quote in Neptune Beach that police said was not paid. @ wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/6AebuVKITA
– Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) April 11, 2019
That didn't put up with Fournette in Jacksonville, with whom he already had a strained relationship.
May 1, 2020: Jaguars decline Fournette's option for the fifth year
The clearest sign that Fournette's time with Jacksonville was nearing its end was on May 1, 2020, when the team turned down his option for the fifth year, making him an unrestricted free agent after 2021. The news came back after the Jaguars reportedly received no interest in the race after he bought it on a deal.
August 31, 2020: Jaguars do without Fournette
After trying unsuccessfully to deal with Fournette for months, the Jaguars simply renounced his contract after three seasons. It's clear Fournette didn't live up to expectations in Jacksonville, but neither did many of the Jags first round picks to his credit.
September 2, 2020: Fournette signs with Buccaneers
Fournette only stayed in the free agent market for one day, signing a $ 2 million one-year deal for Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.
2020: Fournette's career in Tampa Bay
(SN / Getty)
Fournette was a solid # 2 option for Bruce Arians as he raced 367 yards and six points behind the top option Ronald Jones II (978 yards, seven touchdowns). Fournette only had one 100 yard game to his name in 2020, but he's found a way to make a meaningful contribution in the postseason, including a grown man touchdown against the Packers in the NFC championship game.
What's next for Fournette? Only time will tell, but he has a chance to make up for his one season in Tampa Bay with a good game in Super Bowl 55.