Leonard Fournette – What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been
As a fan of college football, I knew who Leonard Fournette was long before he made his first carry on the field at Tiger Stadium. I knew Fournette was going to be a star in college and eventually his talents would make him a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. What I didn't know and apparently Leonard Fournette didn't know either was that life had other plans.
Last August, I must admit, I was taken aback when the Jacksonville Jaguars who drafted Fournette as the fourth overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft, cut ties with the former LSU star in August. I thought, that despite some nagging injuries, Fournette really added to that "potent Jaguar attack". Please, note the sarcasm.
I can only imagine the feeling of being cut by a team that really wasn't that good. I guess it happens to all of us, it just isn't national news when you or I get tossed from our jobs. Now to be fair, Fournette's time in Jacksonville wasn't all peaches and cream. We mentioned the injuries. There was also an arrest that resulted in a one-game suspension.
So, maybe the fit for Fournette in Jacksonville was the greatest. However, the former LSU star was able to find a new football home. He didn't have to search very far to find a new gig. He was picked up last year by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You know that team that signed Tom Brady and is one win away from the Super Bowl?
Fournette's contributions to the Buc's this year haven't been Earth-shattering but he always seems to make the play when the play needs to be made. In Sunday's NFC Championship Game against Green Bay Fournette turned in a bruising 20-yard touchdown run and looked pretty darn impressive doing it.
What was touching to me was how while his teammates were celebrating their victory over Green Bay on Sunday, Fournette was on the phone with his mother and father. The people who never lost faith in his talent, his ability, and his strength to find success in the sport he loves.
Meanwhile, Leonard Fournette is enjoying the journey. I am enjoying it with him. I cheered for him at LSU and will support his efforts at Tampa Bay against Kansas City. I also applaud the fact that he speaks openly of the issues he's had and how grateful he is for the opportunities he has been given.
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