LSU running back Leonard Fournette is as highly-touted as any incoming freshman in the nation, and it's only been magnified by a wide-open opportunity for playing time at a position where LSU lost two NFL draft picks in May. But as only Les Miles can, the Tigers coach poured still more gas on the Fournette fire Wednesday in ranking the five-star recruit's speed at the very top of the LSU roster.
"Leonard Fournette is either the fastest or the second fastest guy on our team at 6-foot-1, 230 pounds," Miles told the Baton Rouge Rotary Club, according to nola.com.
That's some high praise in a program that routinely produces NFL draftees at the skill positions. And while Fournette hasn't yet suited up for his first game as a Tiger -- LSU opens the season against Wisconsin Aug. 30 -- he's apparently blown away his new teammates in summer speed testing.
No word on which LSU player might be faster than Fournette, but the fact that there's only one, at most, speaks volumes about the kind of athlete Miles has brought in to compete for the job. LSU lost running backs Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue to the draft, both as underclassmen. Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard figure to give Fournette his toughest competition for the job, but few expect him not to win it.
Even Magee himself spoke of Fournette's potential in reverential tones two weeks ago at SEC Media Days, comparing him to Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson.
So we know he's been hyped, and now we know from Miles that he can really, really run.
In about a month, we'll begin to learn how well he plays.