Les Miles desperately wants Leonard Fournette to be a Tiger.
But which coach doesn't want Fournette in his backfield? He is the No. 1 high school running back recruit in the country, according to 247 Sports. Every school would love to have his services.
Yet Miles knows losing Fournette, a 5-star prospect from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, to another school would be a major prospect lost from his own backyard.
So Miles did what any coach would do. He went to Twitter:
#Geaux Buga Nation !!!— Les Miles (@LSUCoachMiles) December 19, 2013
"Buga" is a word commonly used by Fournette and his friends at St. Augustine. It can be seen in his Twitter bio and throughout his timeline.
Miles knows how essential Fournette is to his 2014 recruiting class. Any teenager should be impressed if a national championship coach tweets out your mantra, especially during the dead period. Fournette showed his respect by retweeting Miles.
Miles is willing to do whatever it takes. Fournette is an immediate asset at a critical position of need for LSU.
LSU did not sign a running back in last year's recruiting class. The Tigers were relatively thin at the position this season.
Hill will likely enter the NFL draft next season despite having eligibility remaining. LSU is left with three returnees at running back if Hill bolts to the pros.
Terrence Magee finished the season strong against Texas A&M and Arkansas with a combined total of 207 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns. Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue were average all season long. Neither Hilliard nor Blue cracked 100 yards in one game this season.
Magee, Hilliard and Blue are experienced players, but they do not possess the special abilities of Fournette.
Fournette runs the ball with amazing speed, power and balance for a 225-pound running back. He is superb at running through arm tackles and making defenders miss in the open field.
If Hill leaves, LSU loses its best home run hitter at running back. Magee has shown some flashes, but he does not possess the same breakaway speed and elusiveness of Fournette.
Fournette has accumulated over 5,000 rushing yards and 70 touchdowns (via MaxPreps) in his career at St. Augustine. He also shredded eventual state champion John Curtis for 262 yards (via Nola.com) on national television earlier this year.
The Tigers already have one running back committed in Darrel Williams. Running backs are injury-prone, so there can never be enough of them on a college roster. Williams will add depth if he honors his commitment, but he is still a step down from Fournette.
Is Leonard Fournette a must-have for LSU's recruiting class?
Wherever Fournette decides to go, it will take some time adjusting. He is unproven at the SEC level. The St. Augustine Purple Knight ran by high school defenders with such ease that the faster level of play will be new to him. But a special talent like him should have a short transition period to the college game.
Elite linebacker prospect Clifton Garrett committed to LSU earlier this week. Like Garrett, a commitment from Fournette helps LSU's lack of talent and depth at a thin position for the Tigers more than anything else.
LSU desperately needs Fournette to keep his school colors the same in college. Running back is a position necessary for Miles' ground-and-pound rushing attack.
Miles knows he needs Fournette, which is why "The Mad Hatter" kept it Buga on Twitter.
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