Predicting the Top 5 SEC football players for 2015

5 of 6

Sep 27, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette (7) breaks loose for a touchdown run against the New Mexico State Aggies during the second quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Leonard Fournette – Sophomore Running back, LSU

Sophomore LSU running back Leonard Fournette entered the 2014 season with more hype attached to his name than any other incoming freshman in the country. But Fournette shared the carries in the backfield with then-senior LSU running backs Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard, and Fournette’s statistical numbers suffered because of it.

Still, Fournette was able to set an LSU freshman record with 1,034 rushing yards on the season, including strong finishes to end the season against Texas A&M (146 rushing yards and 1 touchdown) and Notre Dame (143 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns).

Fournette’s unique combination of size and strength to go along with his incredible speed makes him one of the most physically intimidating running backs in the country. With Magee and Hilliard gone to the NFL, Fournette is now the veteran running back on the roster (along with fellow sophomore running back Darrell Williams). He is poised to have a breakout season behind a veteran offensive line.

“He has the combination of size, strength and speed. And it’s rare,” LSU head coach Les Miles said during the SEC Media Days. “Generally a guy that weighs 225 pounds does not run as fast as a guy like Fournette.”

Fournette is listed alongside Chubb as a preseason first team All-SEC running back. The Bayou Bengals feature back is also listed as a preseason second team All-SEC all-purpose player and a third team All-SEC return specialist.

Next: Robert Nkemdiche