Despite being bottled up in what was a scoreless first half for the No. 5 LSU Tigers on the road in Lambeau Field against the Wisconsin Badgers, Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fournette became the fastest player to 3,000 rushing yards:
With that carry, junior running back Leonard Fournette becomes the fastest to reach 3,000 yards in a career! pic.twitter.com/PkU2lEKln0
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) September 3, 2016
In the first half, Fournette received 11 carries and gained 35 yards on the ground for a sputtering Tigers’ offense. The one time he had space, was on an interception thrown by quarterback Brandon Harris at the end of the first half where he slammed the Wisconsin defender to the turf.
Fournette becomes the fourth LSU running back in school history to rush for at least 3,000 yards and he has potentially two more seasons of eligibility (although it seems increasingly unlikely he would return for his senior season), joining Kevin Faulk, Dalton Hilliard and Charles Alexander in Tigers lore.
Leonard Fournette became the 4th LSU player to rush for at least 3,000 yards, joining Kevin Faulk, Dalton Hilliard and Charles Alexander.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 3, 2016
Among many prognosticators Heisman Trophy lists to start the season, the man-child of the LSU backfield comes into the year with sky-high expectations. After being eased into his freshman season, where he would score 10 touchdowns and rush for over 1,000 yards, Fournette exploded during his sophomore year last season, putting himself at the forefront of Heisman discussions before the Tigers went on a three-game losing streak.
Last year, Fournette finished with 1,953 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns on the ground (adding a receiving touchdown to his total as well), averaging 6.4 yards every time he carried the ball. For the level of play he’s subjected to on a weekly basis in the SEC, what Fournette has been able to – and how quickly and with an apparent ease of dominance – has many anticipating the LSU running back being among the first picks taken overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, despite the pro game’s transition towards a more air-based attack.