Leonard Fournette is only three games into his sophomore season, and one of the greatest rushers in college football history is already deferring to the LSU running back.
"He's better than I was," Herschel Walker told TMZ. "... "He's like a fullback because he can take punishment and keep on going."
He's kept on going for 631 yards and eight touchdowns in only three games this season, and has rushed for more than 200 yards in back-to-back games. Fournette (6-foot-1, 230 pounds) has established himself as an early Heisman Trophy contender, albeit one that should ultimately yield to a quarterback in the race for the award. Walker won the Heisman in 1982 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Fournette won't be eligible to apply for entry into the NFL draft until 2017, but Walker said Fournette is better off staying focused on college.
"It's a bad idea to talk about leaving early, just wait and your time will come," Walker said.
So, what would it take for Fournette to eclipse Walker's college production? The Wrightsville, Ga., native ran for 5,259 yards in three years at a time when the college season was only 11 games long, and bowl performances did not count toward official statistics. Walker's official numbers cover just 33 games. Fournette has rushed for 1,665 yards in 16 career games, which puts him well behind Walker's pace. By the end of Fournette's third year, if healthy, he'll likely have played in 39 games or more, depending on whether LSU qualifies for the SEC title game.