Over the course of the 2016 season, the running back situation only grew stronger. As star back Leonard Fournette went down for a couple of games due to injury, sophomore sensation Derrius Guice stepped in and delivered. Guice experienced the starting role, and did a great job at it. His flashes of power running through defenders proved that he can be the next great running back for the Tigers. Heading into the 2017 season, Guice has the backfield to himself being the primary starter. For the now junior sensation, his career can only go forward from here.
As for the running backs as a whole, many would say it was a success. With Fournette playing in the games he was able to, every Tiger fan saw his flashes of greatness with every carry that he racked up. When he went down to an ankle injury, the team knew that they were in good hands with Guice. Though the backups did see very little playing time, they also played a big role in contributing to the Tigers’ success in the backfield. Nick Brossette and Lanard Fournette saw limited roles, but that will change next season. Both are expected to see valuable playing time for the Tigers.
LSU Running Backs Evaluation
In 2016, Fournette was the primary starter until injuries kept him from starting a few games. The star junior back only racked up 843 yards with eight touchdowns on 129 carries. He is now headed to the NFL, which makes way for now junior Derrius Guice to take over the starting role.
Last season, Guice finished the season with 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns on 183 carries. If Guice can maintain those numbers again next season, the Tigers should produce quality numbers in the rushing game and be near the top in the country for rushing.
Brossette didn’t see much playing time in 2016, but managed to build up 145 yards on 15 carries with no touchdowns. He expects to see valuable playing time next season as the Tigers prepare for a newly-renovated backfield that will once again be one of the best in the country. Should Guice go down, Brossette is the next man up for the starting spot.
The younger brother of LSU great Leonard Fournette, Lanard saw hardly any playing time last season. As he continues to work towards a valuable role, the sophomore will be contending for a starting spot with Guice and Brossette. Should Lanard win the starting job, the Tiger faithful could potentially see flashes of his older brother yet again.
The LSU backfield was astounding last season. So many flashes of defenders being run over, and strides to the end zone. Many expect the same again in 2017, especially with Guice being back and ready to run all over the field. With that in mind, it’s time to give this running back corps a grade. Their overall grade is an A-. Losing Fournette is obviously a big hole for them to fill, but LSU will manage and make things work. The backfield will be stronger and more endzone-focused in 2017, and that will be the reason that the backs will contribute heavily to the success in Baton Rouge.