For Saint Augustine High School's Leonard Fournette, the recruiting process is starting to once again gain traction. Fournette, who rushed for 2,135 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2012 as a junior, was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Louisiana. His stats certainly make him worthy of that.
The 6-2, 227-pound five-star player for 2014 has seen a flood of phone calls come in from college coaches all over the country since his season came to a close. Because so many schools covet him, Fournette explained that the recruiting process could be hectic, which is why he relies on his family to deal with most of the everyday things.
"Recruiting has been going well," said Fournette. "I try to stay out of it. I let my parents and my coaches handle most of the stuff. If coaches call or something, they usually handle it for me."
The New Orleans native, ranked by Scout as the nation's No. 1 running back in 2014, is being courted heavily by LSU and Frank Wilson. Fournette explained that he, as well as his family, have had a chance to build a very strong relationship with Wilson over the last several years.
While Fournette said his father usually speaks with Wilson, the player himself is very close with the LSU staff member.
"Coach Wilson is a very intelligent and smart guy," said Fournette. "He wants the best for LSU and for the guys he is recruiting. He just tries to sell us on the school and the family atmosphere. My dad has a good relationship with him as well, but I'm not sure exactly what all they talk about when they do speak.
"My relationship with Coach Wilson is a little bit more personal than the relationships that I have with the rest of the coaches."
Given that he's from Louisiana, Fournette said he has a good idea of what LSU is all about, and he explained that there is plenty to like about the school. Fournette also explained that he is already receiving pressure from people in the area to play his college ball in his home state.
"The academics there are big for me, because football is my backup plan," said Fournette. "I have to make sure I have good grades when I'm there. They have great people there and a great atmosphere for everything. It is a very entertaining environment. I get a lot of people telling me that is where I need to go to school."
Fournette also had a chance to take in the Alabama – LSU matchup earlier this fall, and he couldn't have been more satisfied with what he saw.
"It was very intense," said Fournette. "It was a great environment and I loved all of the people there. It was just a great game between two great teams."
Aside from his interest in LSU, Fournette explained that he hasn't yet had time to narrow down his college choices.
He stopped short of naming a full list of top schools, but other than LSU, a couple of other national powers seem to have the interest of Fournette. Breaking down schools is something that Fournette believes will be a difficult process because most schools possess the same attributes.
"Alabama, Notre Dame, and pretty much everybody else is still in it," explained Fournette.
"Every school has great facilities. They are all going to be nice to me and they all have great environments. I look at it as how each school is going to make me happy and make me the most successful player that I can be on and off the field."
With his junior season in the books, Fournette explained that he would start visiting colleges when the summer camp circuit begins in order to gather as much information as possible before he starts to define and trim his list. While he isn't sure of all of the schools he will visit, there is one school that he is already making plans to camp at.
"I'm going to wait until the summer to take visits for the camp circuit," said Fournette. "I'm going to break down the schools that I want to visit a little later. I don't really have time to think about it right now, but I plan on coming back for camp at LSU this summer."
With Signing Day 2014 so far away for Fournette, he hopes to have seen enough college campuses to make his college choice immediately following his senior season.
"I'm planning on making the decision at the end of my senior year," said Fournette. "I don't think I'm going to wait until signing day to do it because I should know before that point where I want to be."
Fournette has a plan
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