Leonard Fournette makes strong case for No. 1

One St. Augustine All-American put on a show for the nation to see Friday night.

The Purple Knights’ other All-American simply wanted to put on a show for his dad.

Running back Leonard Fournette and defensive back Jermaine Roberts, both presented their Under-Armour All-American game jerseys earlier Friday, helped lead the Purple Knights to a thrilling 29-28 victory over John Curtis at Tad Gormley Stadium.

So now who’s the best team in the city?

That debate is still up in the air.

St. Aug beat Curtis. Curtis beat Karr. Karr beat St. Aug.

Who’s the best player in the country?

Well, that one may have been settled in front of a national ESPN2 audience as Fournette put on a show for the ages.

Fournette rushed 37 times for 262 yards. He also had the game-winning 2-point conversion that surely will make SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays.

“Leonard is just a very special player,” said St. Aug coach Cyril Crutchfield.

That is perhaps an understatement.

In addition to his 262 yards, Fournette also caught three passes for 40 yards. None of those catches was as big as the clutch one that came on fourth down when he was rocked so hard by Curtis defensive back Hunter Dale that his helmet came off.

Fournette bounced right back up.

“Sometimes you have to take a hit like that for the team,” said Fournette. “You have to come through in the clutch.”

Including his 43 yards on kickoff returns, Fournette finished the night with 345 yards of offense. Heck, he even kicked off one time.

Patriots coach JT Curtis, who has coached for 44 yards, was impressed.

“He is as good as anybody we’ve played against,” said Curtis. “He is just a load to get down.”

Fournette is rated the No. 1 player in the country by several recruiting experts.

Even he admits that is a bit overwhelming. But he remains humble about the lofty rankings.

“It kinda gives me chills on the inside when I hear that,” Fournette said. “But it’s just God. There are 2 million people out there playing high school football. I just thank God that he chose me. It wasn’t for him, none of this would happen and I wouldn’t be considered the best player in the country.”

Fournette is keeping his recruiting close to the vest.

“I’m not worried about that right now,” he said. “I’m just focusing on this season and trying to get my team to the state championship.”

A nationwide audience of about a half million people watched Fournette’s heroics Friday.

Meanwhile, a proud father in a jail cell watched another St. Aug All-American.

Roberts got a chance to showcase his skills as a high school player for his father for the first time.

Jermaine Roberts Sr. was locked up on drug chargers during his son’s freshman season.

With the game being televised, it was his first time seeing his son play.

“I know he was watching and I know he was proud,” said Roberts.

It was Roberts, along with teammate Errol Brown, who helped break up Curtis’ final play, a pass to Patriots’ All-American receiver Malachi Dupre.

Roberts, a Texas commit, had been amped up about his father getting to watch him play all week. He tweeted about it earlier in the week.

Fournette knew just how special the night was for his teammate who he says is like a brother to him.”

“Jermaine looks up to his father,” Fournette said before the game. “It means a lot for him for his dad to get to see him. It’s an emotional thing for him, because he knows he has to put on a show for his father and show why he is the No. 1 cornerback in Louisiana, and in my eyes, the No. 1 DB in the country.”

That may be debatable. Best running back in the country isn’t.