St. Aug football ready for national tourney

Normally, St. Augustine eschews the seven-on-seven tournament circuit.

But this weekend, the Purple Knights are making an exception.

St. Aug is one of 32 teams, representing every NFL team, in the league-sponsored National 7-on-7 Tournament at the Cleveland Browns headquarters in Berea, Ohio.

The Knights won the right to represent the Saints by winning a 16-team tournament in May.

“It’s a trip to another place with a new environment and competing against new people,” St. Aug coach Cyril Crutchfield said. “But I also look on it as an opportunity to have fun.

“This is a reward for a lot of hard work they’ve been putting in this summer. It’s sort of like their vacation.”

The 12-man teams will begin pool play Friday. Their day will also include an evening trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Besides the competition, the players will attend character development sessions conducted by present and former NFL players.

“It’s going to be great getting to meet NFL players and learn from their experiences,” said Knights running back Leonard Fournette.

“The things they tell us will encourage us to win a championship.”

Fournette, rated the nation’s No. 1 prospect by numerous recruiting services, added upon his return, he would narrow down his college choices to a final five sometime next week.

“I’m still pretty open,” he said. “But I’m going to get with my parents and discuss which schools I’m most interested in.

“Football season is right around the corner and it’s time to concentrate on that.”

Fournette has said he does not plan to commit until the Under Armour game in January.