Leonard Fournette didn’t receive an invitation to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, but the LSU running back remains in good company.
According to ESPN, Fournette met with reporters before Thursday’s college football awards show and shared why he isn’t worried about the exclusion despite the discontent from those surrounding him.
“Everybody was angry about the situation, especially my teammates. But like I told my coaches, my parents and the players on my team, everything happens for a reason. It is what it is. At the end of the day, the best running backs in the NFL didn’t win the Heisman.”
Although he tallied 1,741 yards and 18 touchdowns, Fournette didn’t receive the chance to accompany Alabama’s Derrick Henry, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey in New York.
Instead, Fournette joined the likes of Marshawn Lynch, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson, standout NFL runners who never hoisted the Heisman. That’s not bad company.
But there’s a glaring hole in Fournette’s justification: He’s a true sophomore. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound bulldozer must return to LSU for one more season.
Plus, rain cancelled a certain LSU blowout earlier this year. Had the Tigers played McNeese State, Fournette probably would’ve recorded yet another 200-yard day, taking him near 2,000 yards on the season and most likely alongside Henry, Watson and McCaffrey.
Considering LSU’s nonconference slate in 2016 includes Jacksonville State, Southern Miss and South Alabama, a 2,000-yard campaign and Heisman-worthy campaign is absolutely within reason for Fournette.
For his NFL sake, though, Fournette may again hope he doesn’t earn the most prestigious trophy in college football. Otherwise, he’ll have a trend to break.