Greg McElroy: ‘Talk Of Fournette Leaving Is Ridiculous’

Well, in case you missed it, Leonard Fournette has apparently won the Heisman Trophy and should strongly consider sitting out next season – and possibly some of this season – before entering the NFL Draft.

Fournette, to be sure, has been a complete and utter beast this season, rushing 73 times for 631 yards (8.6 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns for No. 9 LSU (3-0)?

But does that necessarily mean the 6-1, 230-pound New Orleans native should sit out next season?

“I think it’s ridiculous, personally,” SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Look, we always talk about, ‘Well, he could get injured.’ Well, Todd Gurley got injured and through four games of the year, it was basically like ‘Hey, go ahead and etch his name on the Heisman Trophy.’ He was going to win it. That was what it was through the first month of the season. Then he had some NCAA issues and was out, and then Nick Chubb came along and other things transpired. But right now, Todd Gurley is the starting running back for the Rams and was drafted tenth overall.

“So I think it’s ridiculous to talk about all the potential negatives and pitfalls of Leonard Fournette sticking around for the remainder of this season and all of next year before he becomes draft eligible – because frankly, the best years of your life are when you’re a college football player,” McElroy continued. “I understand he can change his life, change his family’s life and completely change their socioeconomic situation if he were to forgo seasons and declare early for the NFL draft or whatever it may be. But he is the ultimate professional when it comes to dedicating and complimenting his teammates. He’s a tireless worker. He’s a guy who really appreciates playing for Louisiana State.

“So I think that all this talk about him leaving and him not playing is ridiculous given what we just witnessed a year ago, when a top running back did, in fact, get injured and was still drafted in the top 10 in the NFL.”

Sticking in the SEC, Doug Gottlieb believes that No. 13 Alabama (3-1) will beat No. 8 Georgia (4-0) in Athens this Saturday. Why? Because Alabama, Gottlieb said, is in Georgia’s head.

“Well, if you’re referring to 2008 when Alabama came (to Athens) . . . and things didn’t exactly go the Bulldogs’ way (the Tide were up 31-0 at halftime), then I guess you could draw reference,” said McElroy, who was a sophomore on that Alabama team. “But that was seven years ago and it’s been quite some time since these two have played. I don’t think the Bulldogs will be digging up that film from 2008 with Matthew Stafford and A.J. Green and Knowshon Moreno and trying to learn anything from the Crimson Tide.”

Indeed, many of Georgia’s current players were in middle school when that debacle occurred, but Gottlieb has been down this road before with Georgia. He buys into the Bulldogs, but then something happens to derail their season. Injuries, a tough schedule, a bad game – you name it.

Plus, the Tide can’t possibly start 0-2 in conference play, can they?

Well, they could.

“I think Greyson Lambert, through four games of the year, has been a better player than Jake Coker has,” McElroy said. “Their running backs are very comparable. Obviously Nick Chubb has incredible numbers. Both are potential first-round picks at running back. Both have talented wide receivers. I think it’s a wash at tight end. The offensive line is comparable. Defensively, they’re both very good. I think it’s a coin flip. It’s a really good football game.”

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