Leonard Fournette gets rave reviews from former LSU coach, teammate

HOOVER, Ala. | LSU coach Ed Orgeron and running back Derriuce Guice both had a message for Jaguars fans: running back Leonard Fournette, the team’s No. 1 draft pick, will be a hit on and off the field.


“[The Jaguars] are getting a good man,” Orgeron said on Monday during his news conference at SEC Media Days, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. “A father, a guy that loves life. Leonard was never on the list for any disciplinary reasons. Leonard was a great teammate. Leonard wants to fight for his players.”

Orgeron said he’s disappointed that there’s a narrative that Fournette “skipped” the bowl game against Louisville because he didn’t want to risk an injury before the draft. He said Fournette’s ankle still wasn’t completely healed from an earlier injury.

“That last game, going into the bowl, Leonard could not play,” Orgeron said. “Leonard came to me in tears. He said, ‘coach, I can’t go, I can’t play.’ I said, ‘Leonard, I understand, we will not put you in jeopardy, son, don’t worry about it.’ Things you heard that he may have skipped the game or whatever, that has nothing to do with anything.”

Patience wearing thin in Knoxville?

A year ago at SEC Media Days, Tennessee was the sexy pick to win the SEC East and challenge Alabama in the conference championship game.

After beating Florida and Georgia out of the gate, the Vols looked as if they would live up to expectations. But after losing in two overtimes to Texas A&M, getting blasted by Alabama and losing to South Carolina, it turned into another disappointing season for coach Butch Jones — despite a season-ending victory over Nebraska in the Music City Bowl to finish 9-4 and become one of three SEC teams to win nine or more games, two years in a row (Florida and Alabama are the other two).

However, Jones refused to dampen his sunny outlook on life.

“I don’t view it as a disappointment,” he said of the 2016 season. “The way I view it is we didn’t accomplish everything we set ourselves out to.”

Bielema adjusts to fatherhood

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema kept his date on the first session of Media Days despite becoming a father for the first time on Saturday. His wife Jen gave birth to Briella Nichole, who is listed on the roster at 7 pounds, 8 ounces.

Bielema was asked if fatherhood had changed him yet and also issued a future warning: his daugher would not be playing football.

“I’m 48 hours into this baby. I can’t say I’m well versed,” he said. “I think it changes your perspective. I knew it always would. If my girl ends up playing football, we probably got a lot of problems. I’ll encourage her to do whatever, but playing football ain’t one of them.”

Jefferson makes Bednarik list

Florida defensive lineman Cece Jefferson of Glen St. Mary was one of three UF players named to preseason watch lists on Monday.

Jefferson and Gator defensive back Duke Dawson were named to the Bednarik Award watch list for defensive players while quarterback Malik Zaire made the Maxwell Award list for top quarterback in the nation.

Jefferson, a junior majoring in social and behavior sciences, has played in 26 of the 27 games over the past two years including making six starts in 2016 as a sophomore.

He had 30 tackles, 6.5 for losses, 1.5 sacks and five quarterback hurries last season.

Dawson played in 12 games and started seven last year. Zaire transferred from Notre Dame.