LSU football: Why Leonard Fournette can win the Heisman in 2015

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Oct 25, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette (7) is tackled by Mississippi Rebels defensive back Senquez Golson (21) as he carries the ball in the first quarter at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Fournette has matured and improved as a running back

Leonard Fournette had Heisman Trophy hype associated with his name before he even stepped on LSU’s campus as a true freshman.

But the No.1 ranked high school recruit of 2014 was not quite ready for the next level, and sputtered out of the gate to start his collegiate career.

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  • Fournette failed to record a 100-yard rushing performance during the first four games of the season. When the young back ran for his first career touchdown in a game against the under-matched Sam Houston State Bearkats, he showed signs of immaturity by striking a premature Heisman pose.

    Fournette received a tongue lashing from LSU head coach Les Miles, and apologized to his teammates and coaches for the selfish display.

    But Fournette began to catch his stride during the final two games of the season, and when the smoke cleared, the dynamic back had compiled 444 all-purpose yards and four total touchdowns against Texas A&M and Notre Dame to end his freshman campaign.

    His performances during those final two games of 2014 have given him tremendous momentum heading into his sophomore season.

    It was obvious at the end of the year that Fournette had found his rhythm. He was utilizing his vision and quickness, and setting up blocks in order to gain chunks of yardage, rather than trying to outrun and overpower defenses like he did earlier in the season.

    Now that he has had a full offseason to further develop his skills and become a more complete back, he is on the verge of a breakout year in 2015.

    Fournette’s goal during his sophomore campaign is to win a national championship rather than a Heisman Trophy. But if he carries his Tigers to the College Football Playoff, he just might do both.

    Next: Fournette will be the feature back of a high-powered rushing attack