Refocused and re-energized, Leonard Fournette ready to prove those who counted him out wrong

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette had the worst football year in his life in 2018, and that's not an exaggeration. 

He was a celebrity by 18 -- deemed not just one of the best running backs in the country, but one of the best football players in the country. Period. After setting records at LSU, he went No. 4 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, and helped the Jaguars reach the AFC title game in his rookie season. With 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns in his first regular season and 242 yards and four touchdowns in the postseason, it sure looked like Fournette was on his way to becoming a bonafide NFL star. 

Then, last year happened.

The Jaguars went 5-11, and Fournette played in just eight games. He was seen pouting on the sidelines while Jacksonville finished out the season and even ran into some trouble on the field. He was ejected after engaging in fisticuffs with the Buffalo Bills in Week 12, which led to a one-game suspension, and then was seen threatening a fan during the Thursday Night Football blowout loss they suffered at the hands of the Tennessee Titans in Week 14. 

Losing games can lead to frustrations, but Fournette is now refocused and re-energized heading into 2019.

"I'm in a happy place right now," Fournette told Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report. "Way, way, way, 100 percent better. 100 percent."

Even though 2018 was tough, Fournette feels like he learned from the experience. Sometimes it takes the lowest of the lows to kick someone back in gear. 

"It was really the first time—in my life, in football—I had a bad year. A down year," he says. "I dealt with an injury. A lot was going on. I wanted to reinvent myself."

One of the steps Fournette took to reinvent himself was to live out of a hotel in Laramie, Wyoming for three months. His former LSU strength coach, Ben Iannacchione, was now at the University of Wyoming, and Fournette traveled there to transform his body. It snowed basically every day, so there was nothing else to do. 

He lost 20 pounds as a result, and got the time he needed to mediate on what he wants from his career and how to obtain it. 

Fournette is not one of the top running backs being selected in fantasy drafts and he's not considered a 2019 MVP candidate, but he doesn't care. In fact, he wouldn't have it any other way.

"People doubting me and counting me out," Fournette said. "I love that."

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