Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey appear to be the two best defenders in all college football. They are both capable of picking up the ball and doing amazing things. The sports news media have also hypnotized the two players as possible Heisman trophy finalists this season. While the two of them put up figures that were similar to each other, there were quite a few differences in the two styles of play.
Leonard Fournette vs. Christian McCaffrey Stats
Starting with Fournette, he was seen as more of an athletic strength back. Much of this has to do with his size, as Fournette is 6’1 and 235 pounds. He was able to run behind the lines and his strength towards the end zone. Fournette also always moved forward to gain yards, rather than up and down the line. While he excels at running the ball with good ball instinct, Fournette is far from being a polished receiver. He only caught 19 faints from the back last season, and was only able to convert one pass into a touchdown.
McCaffrey is more of a student of the college football game that relies heavily on instinct. His father, Ed, was a stellar recipient for the Broncos a few years ago and his gameplay seems to have rubbed off on his son. McCaffrey is not Fournette’s size, standing at 6’0 and 200 pounds. But one aspect that McCaffrey has an advantage over Fournette is that he does a little bit of everything with the ball, not just running. He was key to Stanford’s offense last season and caught 45 passes, five of which were for touchdowns.
However, despite these different playing styles, both Fournette and McCaffrey have posted similar numbers. Despite clear differences in acceptance categories, both Fournette and McCaffrey have the same rush figures, Fournette rushed for 1,953 yards last season and McCaffrey rushed for 1919. Their return numbers are even more similar, with both players returning kicks for touchdowns.
CFB Player Bracket
Looking deeper into the future, if both players end up moving to the NFL, Fournette looks like the rear that college sports news media outlets are more interested in. He did play in more difficult conferences and was the size of the NFL. McCaffrey, however, seems to fit into the new NFL print run back, with his ability to do a little bit of everything.
Regardless of how they progress, both Fournette and McCaffrey look to be two great players to watch going into college football season.