Leonard Fournette owes Jamal Adams a steak.
“I’m still waiting on it,” Adams said Tuesday.
In an agreement that played out on Twitter last month, the LSU running back bet Adams a steak and 100 pushups that he wouldn’t intercept quarterback Brandon Harris in an abbreviated scrimmage during the first week of spring practice.
Less than an hour after the scrimmage ended, Adams took to the social networking site to reveal that he had not only intercepted Harris but he returned it for a touchdown.
“Pick 6!!!!! B.Harris, I can’t thank you enough!” Adams wrote on Twitter before tagging Fournette’s account. “What time we heading to dinner!? @_fournette.”
In front of the entire team, Fournette dropped to the grass during the scrimmage and pumped out 100 pushups. The steak will come later.
“Yeah, I’ll have a steak for him,” Fournette laughed.
Fournette spoke to local reporters Tuesday for the first time since LSU’s bowl win over Texas Tech on Dec. 29.
A lot has happened since then. For one, Fournette lost that bet.
The rising junior also celebrated his daughter Lyric’s 1-year old birthday, finally had his braces removed, and, of course, began spring practice. The Tigers are just days away from capping the 14-practice spring with the spring game in Tiger Stadium.
Spring isn’t the same for Fournette as it is for most players. For example, at a scrimmage two weeks ago, Fournette received just “a couple” of carries, coach Les Miles said. He got seven carries at a scrimmage last week, while Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams took much of the load.
Does Fournette enjoy the time off? He pauses for about 6 seconds before giving the response LSU coaches like to hear.
“It doesn’t really bother me. At the end of the day, it’s not just me playing running back,” he said. “We have multiple guys on scholarship and also (they) have the same ability as me and probably could do better.”
The coaching staff is wary of running their lead stallion too much for fear of injury. They don’t let him participate in the popular one-on-one collision drill that kicks off each practice, Big Cat – when an offensive and defensive player clash while surrounded by teammates, their goal to knock the other back.
Fournette normally has a front row seat to these drills and, often, acts as if he’s the next player up, running into the center of the circle before coaches wave him back to his spectator spot.
Fournette hasn’t been allowed to participate in the drill since preseason camp of his freshman year. He battled linebacker D.J. Welter in his only Big Cat appearance.
“I lost. I lost terrible,” he said with a smile. “I’d rather say 0-1.”
Fournette is unsure on his number of carries for the spring game - or, at least, he won’t say.
“Gotta ask Coach Miles that one,” he said.
Fournette has spent this spring break working on a small group of things. His hands, for one. The way Fournette tells it, LSU plans to throw to its Heisman Trophy favorite more this season.
More so, though, Fournette is developing leadership characteristics for what’s likely to be his final collegiate season.
How do you practice leadership? You go to class, first off, he said.
Fournette’s strength coach often sends him a morning text message motivating him to resist a temptation many college students face – going back to sleep.
“He texted me one thing,” Fournette said, “‘If (you) decided to go back to sleep, probably miss class, that’s a bad attribute of being a leader.’”
These are things Fournette is working on. After all, there’s not much to improve for a guy who ran for a school-record 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns.
“Perfecting” his craft as a leader entails helping teammates off the field – not just on – with “personal problems,” he said. He must show energy at practice, even if he’s having one of those tired days. He motivates the young guys around him to do the same – like early enrollee Devin White, a rookie linebacker.
Fournette works out with White, and, at a recent practice, he slid by White during pass coverage drills with a nasty cut move.
“He just wants to compete with me,” Fournette said. “I just love giving him a move that he’s really going to get in a game. I just want to perfect his craft. He says he wants to be an All-American. That’s why I work out with him in the weight room, to better him.”
Meanwhile, another All-American-seeking player, Adams, is waiting for that steak.
“He asked me two days if I wanted to go get some wings,” Adams said with a look of disdain on his face. “I was just like, ‘I’d rather go get a steak.’”
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.