LSU running back Leonard Fournette did not play in the school’s bowl game at the end of his final college season in what was described at the time as a mutual decision by him and coach Ed Orgeron related to getting healthy ahead of this year’s draft.
The decision drew a range of responses with the negative ones centering on a player putting himself ahead of the team. Fournette will surely face questions about not playing when he sits for interviews with teams at the Scouting Combine or elsewhere and he’s telling a different story about the call to sit out with the pre-draft process about to get rolling in earnest.
“To be honest, it really wasn’t my decision,” Fournette said during an appearance on NFL Network. “My coach brought me into the office. He told me ‘You have a lot on the line.’ He didn’t want me to play. I cried like a baby. It was hard for me. That was my first time not really traveling with the team and I couldn’t play in a game with my brothers. I’m going to miss them.”
However the decision went down, Fournette’s job in the next few months will be convincing coaches and personnel execs that he’ll be fully invested in their teams and showing them that he’s healthy after missing several games with an ankle injury. If he can do the latter, it’s a good bet someone will roll the dice on the former sooner rather than later.