LSU running back Leonard Fournette announced via Twitter that he will be entering the 2017 NFL Draft. Fournette is expected to be a high first-round pick.
As expected, LSU running back Leonard Fournette will forego his senior season in Baton Rouge and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
Fournette posted a statement on Twitter thanking LSU fans, his coaching staff and his teammates for the support.
“I am thankful that you all have been there through the good, bad, ups and downs. I am thankful for my coaches who have helped me to grow into my full potential. I am thankful for my teammates who have been on that field with me through victories and defeats. I am thankful for Coach O [Orgeron] stepping in this season, and I wish him well as he officially takes over as Head Coach of the LSU Football team. I am thankful for the entire football staff and support group. I am thankful, so it is bittersweet that I must also say goodbye.”
Fournette entered the season as one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy, but a nagging ankle injury that he suffered during fall camp kept him from reaching his full potential, as he had to sit out five games.
“This has been a very trying season, but I have continued to fight to play to the best of my ability. Each day I study and work and rehab with my coaches, trainers and teammates so that I can return to the field for the bowl game, and help our team bring another victory home.”
While it was widely known that Fournette, who will likely be a high first-round pick in the upcoming draft, would go pro, the running back wanted to go ahead and announce his decision so not to provide distractions leading up to the bowl game.
“I will be declaring for the 2017 NFL draft after our bowl game. I make this announcement now so that there will not be speculation and distractions while we prepare.”
Fournette has rushed for 3,830 yards and 40 touchdowns in his three-year career with the Tigers.