Senior running back Lanard Fournette has left the LSU football team, according to the LSU Athletic Department. Fournette was removed roster on the team’s website on Wednesday.
Coach Ed Orgeron said in the fall he expected Fournette to be a big contributor to LSU’s new offense due to his abilities as a pass catcher out the backfield, but Fournette only carried the ball 13 times for 36 yards and a touchdown to go with five catches for 19 yards in four games.
Fournette fell down the depth chart behind highly-touted freshmen John Emery and Tyrion Davis-Price. Orgeron has made it a priority to get Emery and Davis-Price experience in recent weeks.
Emery was a five-star recruit out Destrehan, Louisiana, and was ranked as the No. 1 running back in the class of 2019,
according to various recruiting services. After a strong career at Southern Lab High School in Baton Rouge, Davis-Price ended his career ranked as a top 10 running back in the class of 2019, according to 247sports.com.
Against Northwestern State, Emery and Davis-Price combined for 47 total yards and three touchdowns on 12 touches while Fournette had three carries for seven yards and no touchdowns. The disparity grew against Vanderbilt. The two freshmen totaled 14 touches for 59 yards and a touchdown to Fournette’s one carry for one yard.
During Fournette’s football career with the Tigers, he had a total of 162 rushing yards and two touchdowns and 11 catches for 74 yards.
A source said Fournette “just wants to move on with his life,” according to ESPN’s Edward Aschoff. Fournette is the younger brother of former LSU star and current Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
The two brothers played at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, and the older Fournette was the No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2014. He finished as LSU fourth leading rusher in school history, and in 2015, he was a consensus All-American while setting LSU single season school-records for rushing yards (1,953 yards) and rushing touchdowns (22).
While Lanard was never as highly regarded as his older brother, he had a successful career at St. Augustine and was a three-star recruit in the class of 2015. Lanard followed his brother at LSU, but he never felt like he was in Leonard’s shadow.
“I guess that was kind of just everybody else’s outlook on it,” said Fournette in an interview. “I always looked at myself like I’m me. We’re two different people. I always just did my own thing and never listened to anybody else.”