LSU running back Leonard Fournette is drawing comparison to Minnesota Vikings great Adrian Peterson, but he shouldn’t be anointed just yet.
Before LSU running back Leonard Fournette even suits up for his first NFL game, he will have a lot to live up to. Being compared to the last decade’s greatest running back, Adrian Peterson, is bound to do that.
Fortunately, Fournette is already taking it in stride. He is also showing a humbleness that should be appealing to NFL teams who want a workhorse. Following Buck Brooks’ comparison of Fournette and Peterson, Fournette responded to the NFL Network:
"Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in the league. Someone who dominates the game as a single player, who wins one-on-ones, who makes guys miss. I wouldn’t mind, but to me, that’s a little too much credit because he’s who I want to be."
A little too much credit is exactly right, writes FanSided’s Nick Stavrackis. No discredit to Fournette, of course, but it’s the exact right answer to a question that could easily have led to bragging. Writes Stavrackis:
"What a classy, humble answer from a great football player. In sports today, athletes are quick to flaunt their talents and run their mouths. An answer like this is refreshing to say the least."
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It is tough not to agree with that assessment. Fournette has shown that he has personal discipline in this answer in addition to his awesome physical prowess and running ability. If teams were on the fence about him before (and there shouldn’t be many of them), seeing his humility through the rigorous draft process may put him over the top.
As Fournette is expected to be the top running back taken in the 2017 NFL Draft and probably a top-five pick, it’s important to see his personality shine through. It is easy to be dazzled by 40-yard dash times and other flashy on-field performances, but personality counts in the NFL as well. Teams want someone who can be a professional and Fournette may have just proved that he is well on his way to becoming one.