HOOVER, Ala. -- Derrius Guice wouldn't go so far as to suggest that he's a better running back than Leonard Fournette, but the LSU junior isn't taking a backseat to his former teammate, either. Guice said at SEC Media Days on Monday that he sees no difference between himself and the No. 4 overall pick of the Jaguars in this year's draft.
"I'm pretty sure if I was talking to him right now, he would tell me to be better than him," Guice said. "We both run angry. I don't see a difference. We both run angry and mean, we're both bruisers. Leonard's fast, he's shifty, but he's a power back, and I'm the same."
Production-wise, it's not a stretch to suggest that LSU is no worse off with Guice than Fournette. After all, it was Guice who led the SEC in rushing last season (1,387 yards) while Fournette spent much of his final college season nursing a nagging ankle injury. Style-wise, however, the differences are more obvious. Fournette's game relies more on running through tackles, while Guice is a bit more elusive in the open field. LSU DL Christian LaCouture, also one of LSU's three player representatives at SEC Media Days, added something to the Guice-Fournette comparison, as well. LaCouture declared Guice the more difficult to tackle of the two, per Jim Johnson of Southern Pigskin.
As a junior, Guice will face a decision at the end of the season on whether to file for early draft eligibility, as Fournette did.
"I'm the same Derrius I was when I was behind Leonard last year. He's just a step higher, where I wish to be next," Guice said.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein ranked Guice as the No. 1 rusher to watch in college football, noting he has "elite body control."
While Fournette takes on the task of energizing the Jaguars offense this fall, Guice will finally be completely out from under Fournette's shadow at LSU this fall. It's a long shadow, to be sure, but not one that Guice can't outrun.