Fournette ‘further advanced’ than Bo, Herschel? One guy thinks so

NEW ORLEANS — Leonard Fournette has always had a buzz around him.

Growing up, "high school crowds" would come to watch him play parkball in New Orleans’ Goretti Playground.

A petition was created to ban 13-year-old Fournette from playing because he was so much bigger than the other youth football players.

And now, the country is watching the 20-year-old, 6-foot-1, 230-pound Fournette attempt to bring a second Heisman Trophy to LSU.

Needless to say, pressure is nothing new for the running back. Just ask his high school coach.

"He’s definitely one of those people that would fit into the category of being able to understand where he’s going, what he needs to do to accomplish his goals," Cyril Crutchfield told FOX Sports. "And he goes about it on a daily basis."

Fournette wrapped up his high school career with 88 rushing touchdowns and 7,619 rushing yards. He became the first player to win Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year award twice and was named the No. 1 running back by all the major recruiting websites.

Crutchfield coached Fournette at St. Augustine High School during his junior and senior seasons. When Crutchfield took over the program, Fournette was already one of the top prospects in the country, but could they imagine he’d be chasing a Heisman?

"Well, actually he wrote down some goals that he shared with me that I have on a piece of paper," he said. "I’m not going to elaborate on it, but (there are) definitely some things I think he will obtain this year. More than one."

A Heisman Trophy may just be the beginning of what’s to come.

"They’re comparing him to Herschel (Walker), Bo (Jackson) and all those other young men. I think he’s much more further advanced."

Cyril Crutchfield

"They’re comparing him to Herschel (Walker), Bo (Jackson) and all those other young men," Crutchfield said. "I think he’s much more further advanced." 

"You talk about different eras, and you talk about how these guys were so great. They don’t like to compare current generations to those past generations. I beg to differ. … Everybody is bigger, stronger, faster. He’s going against better competition now."

Fournette appears to be the front-runner for this year’s Heisman. Heck, Las Vegas has him favored. Last weekend against South Carolina, he became the fastest player in SEC and LSU history to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a season after gaining a season-low 158 yards in less than three quarters played. Saturday put his season total at 1,022 yards in five games.

"There’s a reason why he plays like he plays — because he practices like he plays." Crutchfield said. "I tell everyone, in high school he was a man amongst boys and in college he’s a man amongst boys."