Leonard Fournette wasted no time in announcing himself in his rookie season in the Jaguars attack. And this year he only intends to get better.
The New Orleans born running back rushed 1,040 yards for the Jags, producing the belligerence needed to push Jacksonville to the AFC title game. Now he’s aiming for another post-season but this time, going one better.
Lower body injuries took their toll on Fournette last season. Since the 24–20 defeat to New England, he’s dropped 12 pounds to 223 in a bid to negate their impact.
It’s done him the world of good. “I feel healthier,” he said earlier this week. “I want to be great. That’s my weight — what I felt best at in college my sophomore year when I was up for the Heisman. I just want to take it back there.”
His weight loss hasn’t gone unnoticed. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue observed that Fournette seems “faster, just from seeing him catching the ball and exploding.”
His previous 235-pound bulk contributed to his injury problems, hampering his maneuverability. Consequently, that kept him down at an average 3.9 yards.
Ngakoue thinks his hard work will pay off. “I’ve seen him a couple of times, he caught a couple of routes and just was hitting it down the sideline,” he continued. “I can tell he’s been working hard. I’m definitely proud of him as well.”
It’s this attention to detail which will mark out Fournette as a key attacking force for the Jaguars. And with the intensity of their play, these seemingly small changes certainly make all the difference between success and failure.