From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Football Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior running back, St. Augustine (New Orleans, La.)
Greatness Present: The Purple Knights needed a miracle to stun crosstown rival John Curtis Christian, USA Today’s defending national champion. Or they just needed Leonard Fournette.
The nation’s No. 1 recruit as ranked by ESPN, Fournette gained 302 total yards and scored two touchdowns in a 29-28 victory capped by his coach’s gutsy two-point conversion call with 1:04 remaining. The 6-foot-1, 232-pound running back rushed for 262 yards and a score on 37 carries in addition to hauling in three catches for 40 yards and a TD.
In just four games for the Purple Knights (3-1) this season, Fournette has already rushed for 641 yards and five scores, caught three touchdown passes and thrown for two TDs.
Greatness Past: The state’s returning Gatorade Football Player of the Year rushed for 2,155 yards and 34 touchdowns on 203 carries as a junior. He also caught 25 passes for 457 yards and four TDs in 2012, capturing Second Team All-USA honors.
Greatness Future: Fournette remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Football Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.