As highly publicized as a cancelled visit can get, 2014 St. Augustine (La.) five-star running back Leonard Fournette had Ann Arbor on pins and needles, with fingers crossed of course, hoping the No. 1 player in the land made it into town for the barbecue at the big house at the end of this past July.
Unable to hit the road due to a last minute scheduling issue, Fournette never made it to his visit with the Wolverines. According to Fournette’s father, Leonard Fournette II, there was a reason.
“Well, really it was more on me because I had to work,” Fournette’s father told GoBlueWolverine Tuesday. “I was trying to take off for that weekend but they wouldn’t give me it off and I’m not letting him (Fournette III) take visits by himself anymore.
“So, I couldn’t make it, so he couldn’t make it.”
Disappointing for hopeful fans who have grown accustomed to the Maize & Blue reeling in nearly any prospect the coaching staff desires, especially after receiving commitments from 2014 five-star cornerback Jabrill Peppers and two top-50 players in 2015 in wide receiver George Campbell and running back Damien Harris in recent months, the Fournette news frustrated many.
Fortunately for Michigan fans, or unfortunately, depending on blood pressure levels, the Fournette recruitment, and possibility of a visit to Ann Arbor, doesn’t appear to have flamed out just yet.
“I’ve been staying in contact with them,” Fournette’s father said. “Oh yes sir. All the time.
“I’ve been in contact with Coach Jackson. He’s a real good coach. I’ve been in contact with him and he’s a real positive man. We always talk.”
Asked whether or not the Wolverines will be in line for one of five official visits this fall, Fournette’s father responded without hesitation.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “We most definitely want to take an official visit to Michigan.”
With the college football season set to get underway this Thursday, along with Michigan’s season opener Saturday afternoon, Fournette’s father says the Wolverines’ success on the field this fall, and use of the running backs within the offense, will be a very important factor in their decision making process.
“I’m watching them (Michigan),” he said. “I’m watching them real close.
“It’s going to be real big.”
Whether or not Michigan will have enough scholarships available in the 2014 class by the time Fournette makes his public commitment, scheduled for after the first of the year, remains to be seen.
Fournette and St. Augustine high school begin their 2013 season this Friday.