Will LSU's Leonard Fournette Meet His Ridiculous Hype?
Sometimes, those expectations can be realistic. But more often than not, the expectations are so ridiculously high that it's almost impossible to imagine the player meeting them.
That's the situation that the No. 1 player in the 2014 recruiting class, LSU running back Leonard Fournette, will face when he arrives in Baton Rouge this summer to begin his college career.
The New Orleans high school star will head into campus with the weight of the world on his shoulders, as there's no doubt that head coach Les Miles and company expect Fournette to be an impact player right away on offense.
With the loss of starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger and star wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the Tigers enter a significant transition on the offensive side of the ball.
Offense coordinator Cam Cameron certainly needs to find a playmaker at those two positions in order for this unit to succeed and best the tough defenses around the SEC.
But make no mistake about it -- the overall success of this offense will depend on how quickly Fournette can become a game-changer.
Gone are the days of a highly-touted freshman coming onto campus and earning his dues behind a veteran player.
Fournette will without question be thrown into the fray right from the beginning, and in the process, he'll be counted on to change the dynamic and solve all of the issues that currently surround this LSU offense.
Those are quite the demands for a 19-year-old kid that's never played a down in the SEC before.
However, Fournette understands the hype. He's undoubtedly one of the top recruits in LSU history, which obviously brings about a certain type of expectation in and of itself. And considering all the tools at his disposal, the hype makes sense.
Fournette seems like the type of kid that understands how this works. He knows the burden that comes with being the top-rated freshman in the country. He's been through a whirlwind recruiting process that put him in contact with the best of the best in college football coaching.
The expectations are real, and he knows it.
That's why it'll be important for him (and everyone else) to understand what is realistic and what is not. There will be those that expect him to be the greatest player in the history of college football in just one season. There will be others that know that it will take time for him to fully reach his potential as a star running back.
But having overcome plenty of adversity in the past, Fournette seems to have what it takes to handle whatever expectations are thrown his way.
He might not meet the hype right away, and that's perfectly fine. Someday down the road though, this kid could be one of the best we've seen in quite a while.
Do you think Fournette will live up to the hype at LSU? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!