They are the best of the best. The players wanted by every program and destined to make a big impact at the college level and beyond.
Rivals.com has identified the first five-star prospects for the 2014 class and
is unveiling them this week. Ten prospects have been awarded five-stars but are
not ranked at this time and we will profile two each day. One of today's
five-stars is New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette.
Scouting report: Fournette is an imposing figure in the
offensive backfield, possessing a rare combination of size, speed, strength,
vision and athleticism. At 6-foot-1, Fournette runs with great body lean and plays
with a low-pad level. His frame is a well-defined 225 pounds of lean muscle and
his feet are quick. He has the ability to run over and through tacklers as well
as slip through and by defenders. Fournette is able to combine a smooth, effortless
stride with a power approach. Not to be lost is his ability in the passing game, where he is a threat out of the backfield as a receiver or as a blocker for his
Analyst's take: "Fournette's size makes an obvious first impression. It
is hard not to notice his 6-foot-1, 225-pound frame, but there is so much more
to Fournette than his size. No doubt he is a big back, but he is a smooth
strider who is surprisingly slick. He is powerful, but he also has the speed to
turn the corner. Effortless is the one word that comes to my mind. After
watching him for the first time, I was amazed at how easy he made it look.
Whether he is running through tackles or tiptoeing the sideline, he keeps his
balance and he is always moving forward. He has also improved his abilities as a
receiver out of the backfield and deep down the field." -- Jason Howell,
Southwest Analyst, Rivals.com
Why he's a five-star: "Fournette is a big, physical downhill runner with
great vision and surprising cutting ability. He can plant and re-direct very
well for a big man and he is hard to make solid contact with despite being a big
target. When in traffic, he can lower his head and pound forward for hard yards,
but what really stands out are his quick and light feet for a big man. He is
also a solid pass catcher and is a three-down back at 225 pounds. He has a
fullback build with the quickness and agility of a tailback." -- Mike Farrell,
National Recruiting Analyst, Rivals.com
His coach says: "He's everything you want. He's a complete young man.
From the running back position, he's something you don't see a lot now. He's a
first-down back who can run inside the tackles, he's a third-and-long back where
he zooms out and catches passes. Then he's that guy who on fourth-and-one is a
bruiser. He's very deceptive. He has 4.3 speed, he's 6-2, 225 pounds. He's a
very humble young man, so all the accolades he has received are definitely
befitting of him. He's an extraordinary talent. Then you talk about the things
he's been able to do for us on the defensive side. We've had him play
linebacker, safety and defensive end. He does it all, returns kicks too. He's a
total, complete back. Then grades, he's a 3.3 student and he's a leader on and
off the field. In the weight room, he's a leader. He's the type who will get in a
kid's face when they're not doing the things they need to do in the weight room.
He's a great, humble young man." -- New Orleans St. Augustine head coach Cyril
Odds and ends: Fournette received his first offer from LSU as a freshman
after just two varsity football games. ... He reports more than 100 scholarship
offers from across the country. ... As a freshman, Fournette rushed for 1,735
yards and 22 TDs on 174 carries. ... He rushed for 241 yards and 2 TDs on 27
carries in his freshman debut against McDonogh in 2010.