There is more to Leonard Fournette than having opposing defenses at his mercy. Fournette has taken the college football world by storm with his amazing start to the 2015 season. The attention is nothing new to him as he was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school. Ultimately, Fournette chose to go to nearby LSU over Texas and Alabama. It is a decision Tigers fans are very thankful for.
Fournette has experienced a lot during his young life. Fournette grew up in New Orleans and survived Hurricane Katrina. He also recently welcomed a baby daughter into the world. There is a lot to learn about Leonard Fournette, but we have you covered.
Here’s what you need to know about the LSU sophomore running back:
1. Fournette Was in New Orleans During Hurricane Katrina
Fournette is from New Orleans, Lousiana and was there when Hurricane Katrina came through. According to Sports Illustrated, He lived in the Seventh Ward, one of the harder neighborhoods in the New Orleans area. According to The Times-Picayune , he and his family waited the storm out in a nearby hotel. Katrina would eventually wash away their home.
The hotel caught on fire and the Fournette family were forced to escape. They made it underneath a bridge where they stayed four days together. He reflected on the experience to The Times-Picayune:
We stayed on the bridge for four days and five nights. I remember lying next to my grandmother and I had never lain next to my grandmother. She was a tough woman and still is a tough woman. When it rained, we had covers that we pulled up on us. We wore the same clothes, couldn’t take a bath. We had to loot the Circle K for food, drinks and baby formula.
When we got hungry, my uncle barbecued for us. We not only helped our family, but we were helping other people too. We saw a lot of dead bodies. I saw a guy take a watch off a dead man.”
2. Lil’ Wayne Tweeted About Fournette in High School
Fournette was one of the top high school players in the country and rapper Lil’ Wayne took notice. Wayne and Fournette share the New Orleans roots so it is no surprise that he tweeted out his support of Fournette. Now the rest of the country has taken notice as well due to his stellar play at LSU.
3. He Is the Favorite to Win the Heisman Trophy
According to OddsShark, Fournette is the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy through six weeks of the season. He is listed as a -220 favorite to win the award. Baylor quarterback Seth Russell is next in line at +650 and TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin is third at +800. In his first five games, Fournette had already rushed for 1022 yards and 12 touchdowns.
You may remember a bit of controversy around Fournette and the Heisman pose. After scoring his first touchdown with LSU, Fournette struck the Heisman pose in celebration. The above video highlights the moment. LSU head coach Les Miles was not pleased with Fournette after he did it. If things continue the way they are going, Fournette will be striking that same pose in New York City in December.
4. Fournette Has a Baby Daughter Named Lyric
In addition to running through defenses throughout the SEC, Fournette is a proud father. According to The Times-Picayune, Fournette’s daughter Lyric is less than one year old. He recently spoke to the publication about being a father:
Having a child humbled me a lot. It made me realize it’s not about me anymore. Every decision that I make can affect her future, too. So, I try my best to be the best man for her; best father.”
5. He Wanted to Auction His Jersey Off to Benefit the Flood Victims of South Carolina
After playing against South Carolina, Fournette pulled out a prepared speech in a post-game interview. In the speech, he sent well wishes to the people of South Carolina who were affected by flooding. Having grown up during Hurricane Katrina, the connection was easy for Fournette. He also mentioned that he wanted to auction of his LSU jersey to benefit the victims.
This created quite the controversy. It was first announced that this was against NCAA rules, and he would not be allowed to auction it off. The NCAA later announced that he would be allowed to auction off the jersey.