LSU star rusher Leonard Fournette took to Twitter earlier this week to dispel any thoughts that he might sit out his junior season in 2016 while awaiting NFL draft eligibility.
For Tigers coach Les Miles, a Wednesday radio show was the format to respond.
"I can't imagine that Leonard would be sitting anywhere inactive for a fall. I just can't possibly imagine it," Miles said on his weekly call-in show, per the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
NFL rules mandate that prospects be at least three years removed from high school before entering the draft. Because Fournette is less than two years removed, he's the latest but not the first (former South Carolina star and No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney) to hear pundits suggest a sit-out could be in his best interest.
Fournette is averaging better than 200 yards per game through three games of his sophomore season. He's played just 16 college games, yet this week alone he drew a comparison to one legendary rusher, Bo Jackson, and drew the highest of compliments directly from another. It's moving awfully fast for the 6-foot-1, 230-pound power back, but as the former No. 1 recruit in the nation at his position, adulation is nothing new to Fournette.
Miles, for his part, chided the nature of sports media in explaining how the suggestion to sit out a college season even comes up.
"What you have to realize is that people that say things -- if you're gainfully employed and you're sitting in front of a microphone, you have to say something that stirs the pot," Miles said. "OK? So, to me, there's a lot of people out there stirring the pot. Just, let's make controversy. Why not?"
Sitting out might keep Fournette free from injury, but the risk that an injury poses is often exaggerated by those that suggest Fournette should make himself the test case. The act of a sit-out itself could have a detrimental impact on his draft status, anyway. Scouts, coaches and general managers alike would undoubtedly question the competitiveness of a player who sat out a college season waiting for the draft. At the very least, the first player to test the theory would understandably be labeled as one who wouldn't think twice about a contract holdout as a pro.
Fournette won't be the last college player to hear the suggestion, and the player who becomes the first to sit will have more to consider than just injury.