Leonard Fournette became “Playoff Lenny” for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he took it further in a 31-9 Super Bowl LV win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
He prefers “Super Bowl Lenny” as he Tweeted after the Super Bowl. Fournette’s play backed it up with rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries against the Chiefs, too.
Never mind it’s Super Bowl Lenny Now….
— 7⃣ Leonard Fournette (@_fournette) February 8, 2021
It capped started a mini Twitter rant he started on Feb. 6 before Sunday’s Super Bowl, posting about his journey from the waiver wires to the Big Game.
I remember 🙏💎 pic.twitter.com/8YmKCqtQ74
— 7⃣ Leonard Fournette (@_fournette) February 7, 2021
The Jacksonville Jaguars waived Fournette right before the season despite two 1,000-yard seasons in three years after being the fourth pick in the 2017 draft. He didn’t want to talk about that following the Super Bowl per the New Orleans’ Advocate’s Rod Walker.
Leonard Fournette on getting cut by Jacksonville and winning Super Bowl a few months later.
"I ain't even got to say too much. Y'all know. We all know. I'm just blessed. I'm going to leave it at that."
— Rod Walker (@RodWalkerNola) February 8, 2021
Fournette didn’t stay in NFL limbo long before the season. Bucs linebacker Devin White, a former teammate of Fournette’s at LSU in college, encouraged Bucs head coach Bruce Arians to sign him per The Advocate’s Scott Rabalais.
Devin White on fellow Tampa Bay player Leonard Fournette: When I was a freshman he was a junior and he took me under his wing.
The moment I saw Jacksonville cut him I'm on the phone with BA (Bruce Arians) saying we had to get him. He's rejuvenated. #LSU
— Scott Rabalais (@RabalaisAdv) February 1, 2021
Fournette signed with the Bucs and played a limited role throughout the regular season but took off in the playoffs, earning the nickname “Playoff Lenny.” He had career lows in carries, 97, and yardage, 367, while scoring six touchdowns during the regular season.
The fourth-year back picked up steam in the playoffs with 93 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries at Washington in the Wild Card round on Jan. 9. “Playoff Lenny” never slowed down with five catches for 44 yards and a touchdown at New Orleans in the Divisional Round on Jan. 17 while rushing for 63 yards on 17 carries. He scored the go-ahead touchdown at Green Bay and rushed for 55 yards in the NFC Championship on Jan. 24.
His touchdown against the Chiefs put the Super Bowl out of reach for the Chiefs in the third quarter.
Leonard Fournette anytime TD (+130)💰
— The Game Day NFL (@TheGameDayNFL) February 8, 2021
Fournette’s Super Bowl performance capped a historic individual postseason per ESPN Stats and Info. Only former Denver Broncos great Terrell Davis and Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald have reached the end zone in four postseason games in one year.
Leonard Fournette joins 2008 Larry Fitzgerald and 1997 Terrell Davis as the only players to score a TD in 4 games within a single postseason. pic.twitter.com/9twWxk2EiI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 8, 2021
On the way to the end zone or moving the chains, Fournette surpassed his regulars season numbers during the playoffs per Pro Football Focus.
Leonard Fournette reg. season stats:
🔺 64 carries
🔺 300 yards
🔺 12 missed tackles
Fournette's postseason stats:
🔺 97 carries
🔺 367 yards
🔺 11 missed tackles pic.twitter.com/djPXDnB2j7
— PFF (@PFF) February 8, 2021
Fournette’s postseason performance eclipsed that of previous star Bucs skill players in the playoffs with more than 100 yards of total offense in more than one game per The Athletic’s Greg Auman.
A quick word on Leonard Fournette: In Bucs history, before this season, no player had more than one playoff game with 100+ yards from scrimmage. Fournette did it three times in this postseason, including 135 in tonight's Super Bowl win. Huge for their balance in the playoffs.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 8, 2021
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady gave a shout out to Fournette for his performance against the Chiefs per Buccaneers.com’ Scott Smith.
Tom Brady on Leonard Fournette: "He showed up big. It was amazing how he performed in the biggest moments and I'm just so proud of him."
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) February 8, 2021
Brady recruited Fournette to join the Bucs along with longtime New England Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski, and free agent Antonio Brown — all three fittingly scored touchdowns in the Super Bowl per ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
All three players scoring touchdowns tonight for the Bucs — Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette — were players Tom Brady personally recruited to join him in Tampa Bay.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) February 8, 2021
Fournette notably was the only former five-star recruit on the field in the Super Bowl per Buchholz High School Football.
Super Bowl has 1 player that was an ESPN 5-star high school recruit – Leonard Fournette. KC has 12 4 -stars, Tampa Bay 8. KC has 10 3-stars, Tampa Bay 12. KC has 19 below a 3-star, Tampa Bay 22. That’s 63 players rated 3-star or worse in the Super Bowl.
— Buchholz HS Football (@BuchholzFB) February 6, 2021
He also was one of two players from his New Orleans-based high school of St. Augustine. Chiefs defensive back Tyrann Mathieu also came from that school. They were also two of six former LSU stars in the Super Bowl.
— Rod Walker (@RodWalkerNola) February 5, 2021