Fournette compares to Louisiana's best

Many Louisiana football historians would take Watch List running back Leonard Fournette in a Pepsi Challenge over the great running backs in the state's illustrious past. Jamie Newberg

Wayne Reese knows what a good running back looks like.

He was the coach at New Orleans' Carver High School when a shifty little back named Marshall Faulk passed through his program en route to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

So when Reese, now the head coach at New Orleans' McDonogh 35 High, sees Leonard Fournette play, he recognizes the talent.

"He's a special player," said Reese of Fournette, the star of local rival St. Augustine High and one of the top players in the 2014 class. "And he's a special kid too."

Fournette is the signature player in what should be a banner 2014 for Louisiana prospects. Fournette is a candidate to be the nation's top running back in the 2014 class, one of four Louisiana players to be in contention for top honors at their respective positions, along with offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (West Monroe), defensive end Gerald Willis (New Orleans Karr) and safety Laurence Jones (Monroe Neville).

What makes Fournette different from the other top prospects is how his name sparks conversations about the best ever from the state.

"Is he as good as Marshall Faulk?. How about Cecil Collins?" Old timers will even bring up LSU's lone Heisman Trophy winner, Billy Cannon, who shared Fournette's build (both men stand at 6-foot-1, with Fournette weighing 230 pounds while Cannon played at 215 in an era when that was considered huge for a back) and speed.