6.5.17

Leonard Fournette: History In The Making

It didn’t take long for Leonard Fournette to stand out on the gridiron.

Leonard Fournette

“I was only five or six years old when I started playing in the sandlot with my cousins,” he explained.

 

I was hesitant to play at first, because they were older and I didn’t know if I would like all that running. But then, that next year, everything took off.
Leonard Fournette

As he stepped onto that field, he realized that age was just a number. “I wound up being one of the best players out there,” Leonard said.

 

That was where I started to notice my talent and abilities.
Leonard Fournette

That talent put him on the fast track to dominate in athletics at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. By his freshman year, he was already the squad’s varsity starting running back. But as he tore up his opponents, he turned to another sport altogether to truly take his game to the next level.

Leonard joined track, but it was more than just a way to stay in shape for the fall — he excelled at it. His 200 m regional mark of 21.57 seconds was the fastest in all of Class 4A while his 10.69 second 100 m was just .02 of the top time.

“Track helped me big time with my endurance and speed,” Leonard said.

 

I’m very fast for someone my size and height — when I get the ball, I can outrun a lot of defenders even if they have the angle. I was able to separate myself because of track.
Leonard Fournette

Leonard put that sprinter’s speed to good use on the gridiron and by his junior year in 2013, he ran for 2,135 yards, 31 TDs, and won Louisiana’s prestigious Mr. Football Award, given to the top high school football player in the state.

As he set records and blew minds, he found the perfect partner for his domination: his gear.

“Under Armour has been with me since day one,” Leonard said. “They had a partnership with my high school and they’ve always been so loyal. They always had whatever I needed.”

This included discovering his ideal football cleat, which he found his junior year when he laced up in the Highlight for the first time. “When I first saw them , I thought ‘that’s a big cleat — I don’t know if it’s right for me as a running back,’” Leonard admitted. “But I was proven wrong right away. They prevent injuries, especially around the ankles and are still really light. I love them.”

From his skills to his work ethic to his gear, Leonard was well equipped to handle anything that came his way as he prepped for college ball. As one of the most highly recruited players to ever come from Louisiana, he had his share of elite college programs to choose from. He became a hometown hero and stayed in state at LSU.

And you know the rest — he regularly embarrassed elite defenses in college and is now is getting ready to do the same in Jacksonville.

So what’s the final hurdle Leonard needs to clear? The one thing left that could prevent a man often hyped as ‘the next Adrian Peterson’ from starring in the pros? Pride. It would be easy for an athlete this hyped to get too full of himself, but don’t worry, Jacksonville fans, that will never happen — not when he’s got the perfect role model.

“My father has always been there for me,” Leonard said. “He was there to support my brothers, sisters, and me since day one and he never judged us or forced us to do anything. He’s why I never get discouraged and always try to outwork everybody else.”

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