Stars Come Out in Texas With Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon


Jan 2, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Team Highlight running back Leonard Fournette (5) runs with the ball against Team Nitro during the second half


Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The stars will be out in full force this weekend at Reliant Stadium in Texas when the 2014 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff goes down.

Melvin Gordon in one backfield and Leonard Fournette in the other.

Here is a little about what people are saying about these two backs moving into what could be a Heisman Trophy campaign debut, this weekend.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 224 pounds, Leonard Fournette is already bigger than many of those he competes against.

He’s stronger than most, and LSU coach Les Miles has already speculated that the freshman might be the fastest player on an incredibly athletic roster.

Coming out of high school as the No. 1 overall recruit in the country as his position, Fournette is expecting big things on the national stage in what will be his NCAA debut.

Many analysts are also expecting the same thing.

JC Shurburtt of CBSSports wrote: “Fournette will go for a buck, buck and a half, though- With that, expect LSU freshman running back Leonard Fournette to make a big debut and top the 100-yard mark against the Badgers, who have suffered some personnel losses on defense heading into this year. Fournette is too good and the Tigers will hope to unleash the No. 1 overall 2014 prospect early and often.”

The proof lies in the pudding.

Fournette became the first player in Louisiana history to be named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year twice, rushing for 7,619 yards and 88 touchdowns in his career and garnering numerous Adrian Peterson comparisons along the way.

LSU offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, spoke to the quality of athlete Fournette is.

“No. 1, he is everything we thought he was and then some,”said Cameron, entering his second season as LSU’s offensive coordinator after 11 years as a coordinator and head coach in the NFL. “But very seldom do you see guys with that kind of talent have that kind of maturity at an early age and be that team-oriented. You’re getting that much praise and you may be as much of a team guy as anybody out there. That’s a little uncommon at that age, but I think when you meet his parents and meet his brother, you can see why he’s the way he is.”

David Ching of ESPN College Football set the stage for Fournette this weekend, writing; “the Wisconsin game is the next chapter in the Legend of Leonard, where anything less than immediate dominance would disappoint the many Louisianans who believe Fournette might be the most talented player in state football history.”

Opposite Fournette is the proven Melvin Gordon.

Jul 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at Hilton Chicago. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon, who many say had he gone the route of the NFL draft WOULD have been the first running back selected, has shown the nation what he can do.

With All-American tailback Montee Ball moving along to the NFL last season, Gordon and backfield mate, James White, split carries.

Still, Gordon rushed 206 times for 1,609 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 7.8 yards per carry but that dropped his overall average at UW to 8.1 yards per carry.

One thing that coach Gary Andersen has made clear throughout training camp so far this season is that Gordon won’t be alone in the backfield.

Alongside will the the talented Corey Clement, who also showed flashes of greatness in his opportunities last season, bursting on the scene for 8.2 yards per carry, finishing with 547 yards and seven touchdowns on 67 carries.

Andersen has said both will be important parts to UW’s success.

“We need to make sure that Melvin is getting his touches. But to say we’re going to hand the ball to Melvin 30 times a game would be a mistake. That’s not smart. There is a balance there,” Andersen said.