LSU’s Leonard Fournette is the toughest guy to tackle in the SEC, if you listen to the defenders who have to do it.
Founette was named ahead of Georgia’s Nick Chubb by the SEC defensive players polled by ESPN.com at the conference’s media days last week.
Of the 13 SEC players polled (not all answered the question), three selected Fournette. Chubb was named by two players, followed by Arkansas’ Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams with one each.
Here’s what the players said about Chubb, last year’s SEC freshman of the year who rushed for 1,547 yards and 14 TDs.
Vanderbilt LB Nigel Bowden: “People don’t understand that more so than Todd (Gurley), Chubb was actually a lot harder and thicker. Todd Gurley is really explosive. But he’s different. You have to hit Chubb really good because he’s a rock.”
Auburn DB Jonathan Jones: “You saw it last year as a freshman. He’s going to be a great back. He’s strong, but he’s fast. He ran like a 10.6 in high school. So he’s fast and he’s big.”
Fournette rushed for 1,034 yards and led the SEC with 137.4 all-purpose yards per game.
Florida DE Jonathan Bullard on Fournette: “Big, strong and fast. Usually you get the guys who are big and they’re going to run straight. With him, you’ve got to worry about him using his outside foot and shifting. He’s mobile too. You can’t just say, ‘He’s about to run me over.’ ”
Chubb, Fournette, Collins and Williams are among the top returning running backs in the country this season.