NEW ORLEANS – LSU freshman running back Leonard Fournette has been named the winner of the 2013-14 James J. Corbett Award, which is presented annually to Louisiana’s top male amateur athlete, the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee announced on Wednesday.
Fournette is the first high school athlete to earn the Corbett Award since its inception in 1967. Some other notable winners of the award include: Pete Maravich (1968 and 1969), Bert Jones (1972), Charles Alexander (1978), Chris Jackson (1989) and Shaquille O’Neal (1991).
Christina Hamilton of Louisiana-Lafayette was named the female recipient of the Corbett Award. This year’s Corbett winners will be recognized along with 27 other individuals and three teams at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The winners of the Corbett Award are selected by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, which is made up of current and former media members.
As a senior at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Fournette was regarded as the nation’s No. 1 prep player in 2013. He was named the USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year as well as being selected as a member of the All-USA First Team and the prestigious Parade All-America First Team.
The first player in Louisiana history to twice be named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, he finished his high school career with 7,619 rushing yards and 88 rushing touchdowns, including 1,792 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.
Fournette, who led his team to a 9-2 record and an appearance in the Division I semifinal game as a senior, was also listed as the No. 1 overall prospect in the nation by ESPN.com and Scout.com and was named the 2013 Mr. Football by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
The Corbett Award was created in 1967 and named in honor of the late James J. Corbett to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and specifically to the Sugar Bowl. At the time of his death, Mr. Corbett was the Athletic Director at Louisiana State University. These awards are presented annually to the most outstanding amateur male and female athletes in the State of Louisiana. The Corbett recipients are selected each year by members of the New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, based on nominations submitted by the state's sportswriters, sportscasters and sports information directors.
Since its inception in 1967 (through 2013), Corbett Award winners include 16 NFL players, seven Major League Baseball players, four NBA players (including two Hall of Famers), eight Olympians (including seven Gold Medal winners), three WNBA players and one PGA Tour star.