By Russell O. Karr And Courtney Vega | Photos By Megan Stearman
There is a Dickensonian quality to the superabundant discussion about high school football standout, Leonard Fournette, and his imminent journey to Louisiana State University. Not only do the good people at St. Augustine High School offer caring words of support for their soon-to-be alumnus, the entire LSU fan base has Great Expectations for this young running back, hoping that he can lead them back to conference and national championships which have eluded the Tigers for several years.
In our recent interviews with Leonard Fournette and his coach, Cyril Crutchfield, High School Illustrated came to understand the deep sense of pride and belief in Leonard’s athletic prowess and discovered the subtle strength behind the headlines.
As in life, Dickens’ advice is relevant to football. “Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”
The evidence is powerful.
Named the number one or two high school recruit throughout his career, Leonard Fournette rushed for 7,630 yards while playing for St. Augustine. And those yards yielded 90 touchdowns. LSU saw the potential and offered him a scholarship in his Freshman year.
And, Leonard exhibits his athletic ability in track as a top contender in both 100 and 200 meters.
Watching video of Fournette shows his breakaway speed and consistent playmaking and scoring ability.
While it’s fun to talk football and statistics, High School Illustrated got a better understanding of why Leonard Fournette is a top-ranked high school recruit.
A lot of young athletes attend special camps and special training early. Leonard earned his disciplines on the playground with his dad. “My father helped me get in shape for football. On the weekends we went to the park and ran the ladders [and] did stairs to get faster and get my agility better, and just catching the ball to get my hands better,” Leonard explained.
As he grew into junior high sports and then to high school varsity football, the young Mr. Fournette followed a straightforward, consistent path. Leonard commented that “being the first person there at practice and the last person to leave—getting up at 5 in the morning for practices, pushing yourself to be better than anyone else on the team, challenging yourself and your mind,” was how he focused his raw athletic ability into football success.
In his final year at St. Augustine High School, Leonard experienced a lot of success,
but he picked out a few highlights. “My first time playing on ESPN against John Curtis and winning was a big achievement for me. When Lil Wayne had tweeted me on Twitter, calling me a beast, that was big for me. Winning the district championship outright, that was big.”
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