- Mitch Sherman, ESPN Staff Writer
NEW ORLEANS -- Running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine), the No. 1-rated prospect in the Class of 2014, has planned a surprise recruiting visit to Texas A&M on Saturday for the Aggies’ meeting with Alabama, according to another top player.
No. 1-rated athlete Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) said he was informed by A&M coaches that Fournette would attend the big game. Noil is visiting the College Station, Texas, campus with teammate Gerald Willis III, No. 29 in the ESPN 300 and the third-ranked defensive end.
Before their visits, Noil and Willis will face Fournette on the field on Friday.
The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Fournette was believed to have narrowed his choices to Alabama and LSU. His presence at Kyle Field this weekend would signify additional recruiting momentum for the Aggies. A&M signed the nation’s eighth-ranked 2013 class in February and sits 10th in the 2014 class rankings. Its current class of pledges includes nine ESPN 300 prospects and two running backs.
Fournette rushed four times for 159 yards in Saint Augustine’s season-opening win last week. His performance included runs of 65 and 79 yards. He did not play in the second half.
Noil said he was pleased to hear of Fournette’s plan to visit A&M. More pressing, Noil said, he looks forward to their meeting on Friday. A year ago, Fournette played linebacker in a playoff game against Edna Karr. He spent much of the game as a spy on the quarterback Noil.
Noil said he hopes it happens again. Why’s that?
“So I can embarrass him and show that he can’t handle me,” Noil said.
Willis, too, said he’s anxious to face Fournette. Last year, Willis said, Saint Augustine’s game plan called for Fournette to run away from Willis.
“I had to chase him down from the backside,” Willis said. “He’s like a regular running back to me.”
After the game, apparently, they’re all friends.
“There’s no beef happening between us three,” Noil said. “It’s just a competition.”
Noil said on Wednesday that he’s settled on A&M, Florida and USC and his top choices, though he said he’d also consider LSU. Willis said his favorites are A&M, Florida and LSU.