Stop suggesting LSU RB Leonard Fournette should sit out 2016 for sake of NFL future

Anyone suggesting Leonard Fournette should skip the 2016 season doesn't understand the type of person he is.

The NFL just ruins everything, doesn't it?

We're only three games into Leonard Fournette's sophomore year, one that could be the greatest individiual season in LSU history, but already people are solely focused on his professional future. The hot takes are coming from all angles, each more preposterous than the next.

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio said Fournette's already maximized his draft stock, so what is there to gain by contuing to play? Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch suggested the same thing. Fox Sports' Clay Travis even said Fournette should purposely make himself ineligible by taking money for autographs.

Those making this argument see Fournette as only thing — a piece of meat.

They don't see the person that he is. Anyone who believes Fournette would even consider this knows nothing about him as a man. 

Let's let him explain it best.

https://twitter.com/_fournette/status/649055804700667907

Fournette would rather "drown" than save himself and see his "brothers" fail. Raise your hand if you'd do the same. I'll wait...

This is a kid that two weeks ago was named LSU's MVP for the Auburn game, and he handed it off to his fullback. He did the same thing in high school after winning the Prep Player of the Year Award, instead deferring it to a quarterback you've never heard of.

He has a picture of the national championship trophy saved on his phone that he regularly shows to anyone and everyone. That's his ultimate goal — nothing else.

Who would honestly believe someone this humble would put himself before his team?

That's what the NFL pundits want though. They think he should care only for himself, disregard every goal he's ever had. 

They'll argue it's a matter of self-preservation, that Fournette's one hit away from a career-altering torn ACL. Or they'll blame the NCAA for forcing these "amateur athletes" to wait three years before going pro. They'll say, "Why should Fournette work for LSU 'for free' when he can erase all financial risk and start making money?"

They're missing the mark entirely. Maybe if they opened their eyes, they'd see the even more remarkable side of Leonard Fournette.

He was crowned the next great thing as a freshman in high school. He had offers from LSU and Alabama before he finished his first season of varsity football. He was a consensus five-star prospect and the No. 1 recruit in the country.

A lot of kids get big heads from praise like this. Fournette never did.

Even now, everyone's already crowned him the Heisman favorite. He's been compared to Adrian Peterson, Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker. 

Fournette doesn't care about any of it. He wants only to represent his family, his state and his school. He'd never leave them behind in pursuit of personal glory.

The NFL Draft and millions of dollars will come in time. He obviously knows that.

But he would never sacrifice what's most important to achieve it. Believe it or not — Fournette is more than just a great football player.

He's an even greater person.


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