Saturday, September 14, 2013
Fournette undecided on Texas A&M visit
By Mitch Sherman
NEW ORLEANS -- Texas A&M, Alabama and LSU must wait until Saturday to learn if running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) will visit College Station, Texas, for the Aggies’ clash with No. 1-ranked Alabama.
Fournette, the No. 1-rated prospect in the Class of 2014, said on Friday that he’s yet to reach a decision on the recruiting trip.
“I’m thinking,” Fournette said after St. Augustine’s 33-24 loss to New Orleans Edna Karr. “I talked to my father about it. I told him I was going to let him know my final decision.”
The 6-foot-1, 226-pound running back said he had spoken with Texas A&M about the visit and that he would like to look at both teams in the marquee game of college football’s September schedule.
Previously, LSU and Alabama had been considered the only schools remaining in the mix for Fournette. The Tigers sent recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson on Friday to watch the St. Augustine-Edna Karr game.
Enda Karr’s Speedy Noil told ESPN.com on Wednesday he was informed by A&M coaches that Fournette would visit the school this weekend. Noil, rated as the No. 1 athlete and eighth overall in the ESPN 300, is visiting College Station on Saturday with prep teammate Gerald Willis III, a defensive end ranked 29th overall.
St. Augustine coach Cyril Crutchfield disputed Fournette’s interest in the Aggies in media reports on Thursday. He did not return messages left by ESPN.com.
Asked after the game Friday night about Fournette’s potential visit to Texas A&M, Crutchfield said: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
On the field, Fournette displayed the talent that has placed him in a position to be so coveted. He recorded a rushing, passing and receiving touchdown in the first half as St. Augustine built a 24-14 lead over the defending Louisiana 4A champion.
Included in his performance was a 93-yard reception after a short pass. The play electrified a large crowd of Tad Gormley Stadium and captured momentum for St. Augustine that lasted through halftime.
But Fournette missed the opening three series of the third quarter.
“My body overheated,” said Fournette, visibly upset after the game. “I take it hard that I couldn’t play. I felt like I let the team down.”
St. Augustine still led by 10 early in the fourth quarter before a pair of turnovers injected life into Edna Karr. Noil, who started at quarterback and played receiver in the third quarter, returned to QB and directed three touchdown drives in the final seven minutes.
In addition to Fournette, Noil and Willis, the game featured cornerback Jermaine Roberts, a Texas commit, and LSU linebacker pledge Donnie Alexander, both ESPN 300 prospects. Roberts intercepted Edna Karr quarterback Kerry Taylor in the end zone while defending Noil. Defensive tackle Courtney Garnett, committed to Texas, also plays for St. Augustine.
Crutchfield described Fournette’s showing as a “warrior-type effort." As a team, St. Augustine missed opportunities in the second half.
“It’s a learning experience,” Crutchfield said. “We’ve got to do a better job of executing. When you’ve got the other team down, you’ve got to put your foot on their throat and put them away.”