Leonard Fournette would play in the Citrus Bowl if he were healthy, Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday following practice.
On Thursday morning, following his team’s final practice before the holiday vacation, LSU coach Ed Orgeron commented on running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette will miss the Tigers’ Citrus Bowl matchup against Louisville in order to focus on the upcoming NFL Draft, but Orgeron said that the star back would play if he were 100 percent healthy.
“I know if Leonard was 100 percent, he’d be playing with us. No question,” Orgeron said. “I do believe, myself personally, that if you’re 100 percent, you should finish off with your team.”
Orgeron’s statement comes on the heels of his player catching flak from pundits over the decision to sit out. Fournette, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Baylor’s Shock Linwood have all declared the intent to skip their respective bowl games. All three tailbacks have battled injuries over the course of the season and want to be in peak shape for the NFL Combine. Unsurprisingly, there has been brushback at a time when storylines have started to dry up and the offseason has creeped closer.
That Fournette would play if completely healthy falls in line with the player’s modus operandi while at LSU. Despite being ruled out of the game against Florida on account of an injury, Fournette pleaded his way onto the field so he could be alongside teammates after a pregame scuffle. There has been speculation that Fournette wanted to compete one final time for LSU, but coaches and trainers have advised him to rest after playing injured all season long.
LSU and Louisville will sqaure off in the Citrus Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 31 in Orlando. Kickoff is set for 11:00 a.m. ET.