No. 1 Recruit Leonard Fournette Opens the Door For Michigan, Texas
The top two candidates for the nation's best running back and overall recruit has long been thought to be Alabama and LSU, but according to a report from Mike Herndon of AL.com, Fournette denied that those were the only two schools he's looking at:
"That's not accurate," Fournette said Thursday, insisting he doesn't have any favorites yet from a list of offers so long he's stopped counting.
Herndon then cited an interview Fournette did with Tim Sullivan of TheWolverine.com in early June:
"You could say that we [top prospects] pay attention to where other guys go," Fournette admitted. "To me, Peppers was a surprise. He surprised everyone. We say we could make a great team. We talk about things in school, how you feel about certain schools, that's all. He's told me that whatever school I decide and choose, it's up to me."
"Michigan, I like Michigan. School-wise, they're more focused on grades than football. That's what I like about them. I think Jabrill made a good choice."
Fournette went on to say that he would like to visit Ann Arbor in the fall for an official visit, per Sullivan's report.
While this is potentially groundbreaking news for Brady Hoke and his staff, Fournette also talked about Texas, per Herndon's piece:
"Oh Texas, it's beautiful out there. I love Texas," Fournette told Rivals of his visit to Austin. "Me and coach (Mack) Brown, he's so laid back and he keeps it real with you. It's his approach. It's different. He'd rather be your friend before he's your coach."
Wherever he does end up, Fournette has star potential.
He's 6'0.5'', 225 pounds and he's a complete back. He can grind it between the tackles with his power, and he'll run defenders over rather than get tackled. That said, Fournette can also stretch it to the outside, make defenders miss and throw it into second gear.
He's drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson, and those comparisons are indeed legit.
For Texas, it would be a huge step in the right direction, and it would provide Mack Brown and his staff with the boost and momentum that they desperately need.
All this said, LSU is the home-state school and national powerhouse, and Alabama is Alabama. To forget about those two marquee programs in this recruiting race would be utter foolishness.
The takeaway from this is not that Michigan and Texas are now the favorites for Fournette, but that he doesn't have any favorites just yet.
The door has been opened. Texas and Michigan are just two of the notable programs that have a chance to walk through it.
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