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November 6, 2012
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.
Leonard Fournette, RB, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine
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 quarterback.?
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 Crutchfield
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.
NFL player comparison: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings