After a 212-yard/5-touchdown performance vs Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl, Leonard Fournette's career stats sit at 487 carries, 2,987 yards, a 6.1 average per rush, and 32 career rushing touchdowns. He also has 26 catches for 380 career receiving yards and one receiving touchdown, which he got vs the Red Raiders. Here is where Fournette's numbers currently stand in the SEC record books.
- Rushing Yards: 36th
- Rushing TD: 29th
- Average yards per rush: 20th
All-Time Rushing Yards
If Leonard Fournette was to match his 1,953 yard season from this past season, he'd be at 4,940 yards for his career, which would shoot him all the way up to second in SEC history in rushing yards. He only needs 1,604 yards to pass Darren McFadden for that spot. Hitting his freshmen year number of 1,034 yards, which we all expect him to do by October, would put him in eighth all time.
I think we all expect Fournette to AT LEAST be in the 1,600-1,600 yard range. There's no doubt in my mind by the time his career is over he's at least 2nd in SEC history. The big question we all want to know: Can he catch Herschel?
A exact 2,000 yard season for Fournette, which he was one cancelled game vs McNeese away from achieving and more, leaves Fournette 272 yards away from Herschel's mark. If you take Fournette's average per game for this year, 162.7 yards, and calculate it over 13 games, that's 2,115 yards, and 5,102 for his career. Only 157 shy. But what if LSU gets to the SEC Championship? That's mean at least 14 games - barring injury of course, the real snag in here - and 162.7 over 14 games is 2,278 yards. And that'd put him at 5,265 for his career...six yards ahead of Herschel for 1st all time. That's not even counting LSU potentially playing for a National Championship.
So if Fournette is able to achieve what he did this season, and not even improve or have his offensive line improve, there's a very real chance he's going to be the top dog in terms of rushing yards.
All-time Rushing Touchdowns
Tim Tebow currently holds the record here with 57 TDs. Fournette sits at 32 TDs, so 25 would be the magic nuumber there. Ten touchdowns, which Fournette picked up in his freshmen year, get him to 42 and a tie for seventh with former Miss. State RB Anthony Dixon and Mark Ingram. If he could replicate this years 22 rush TD campaign, which came in only 12 games, puts him at 54 and in second place. Fournette averaged 1.8 rush touchdowns per game this year, over a 13 game season that'd put him at 23 and two shy of Tebow.
You feel like with an improved passing offense for LSU, a real possibility and one I find likely, there will be more opportunities for Fournette to break long runs and also more red zone opportunities for him to score. So much like the rushing yards, Fournette replicating this years campaign gets him to second on the list and an even better year should put him over the top here and into 1st.
All-time Rush Yards Per Attempt
This is one that Fournette's not going to be able to break, and a lot harder to guess where he'll end up. Felix Jones is the leader here, with 7.66 yards per carry. Of course, Jones never carried the ball more than 154 times in a year at Arkansas and was used as sort of a specialty player by Houston Nutt in the "Wildhog" offense when he had Jones and Darren McFadden roaming in his backfield.
Fournette averaged 25 carries per game this year. Let's say that holds, and Fournette has 325 carries over 13 games next year. If he runs for 2,100 yards, that would match his 2015 average of 6.5 ypc. It would increase his career average to 6.2, but that'd only get him up to 16th. Say we take the 2,278 yard season I projected above, which is Fournette's average per game this year over 14 games. And say that's on 350 carries. That'd take the career average up to 6.3, which is only 15th.
The rush yards per attempt list is filled with a lot of dudes who were used as change of pace backs, or in unique formations like Jones at Arkansas. Fournette finishing in the Top 20, considering the back he is, would be a heck of an achievement.
LSU Record Books
Fournette's name is already etched in the LSU books with the single-season yardage and touchdown marks from this past season, but he'll have his chance to make more history here as well in 2016. Kevin Faulk is the all-time rush leader for the Tigers, at 4,557 yards. It'd take 1,571 yards to break that, which you figure he will definitely hit. Faulk also holds the record for rushing TDs at 46. Hard to see Fournette not getting the 15 TD's needed to break that mark as well. And Alley Broussard's single game rushing record, which looked like it was sure to get broken at some point this year probably won't stand up through 2016.
So by the end of 2016, we could see a season where Fournette breaks SEC and LSU records, along with making a run at the Heisman trophy. Going to be one fun ride.