Nick Brossette waited his turn, and now he heads into his senior day as LSU’s leading running back.
As the once four-star recruit and Baton Rouge native looks ahead to his last game in Tiger Stadium, Brossette can’t help but look back at the last four years that he wouldn’t change for anything.
“I was thinking about it all Sunday,” Brossette said. “Like, dang, this is really going to be my last home game. It’s crazy how fast this time flies. I feel like I just had to report here. I’m just at a loss for words for it.”
Brossette entered LSU as a top recruit with high expectations, but quickly found himself in a situation in which he was competing against some of the best running backs in the country.
Behind two prolific running backs in Leonard Fournette and Darius Guice, Brossette had to implement patience before finally getting his shot.
And all that waiting proved to be worth it.
“It definitely all came true,” Brossette said of his dreams and expectations. “Just being the starting running back for LSU is exciting, it’s breathtaking. I’m just enjoying every minute of it.”
Fans and media didn’t know what to make of LSU’s running game entering the 2018 season. After years of running the ball with Fournette, Guice and Darrel Williams, the Tigers didn’t have a running back with more than 46 career carries.
That running back was Brossette who tallied 306 yards in his first three seasons, never getting reaching 20 carries in any of those three years. The biggest rush of his career came in his sophomore season with a 60-yard rush against Missouri, a game LSU won 42-7.
Brossette silenced critics in LSU’s season-opening game against Miami, tallying 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries with a 50-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Since then, he has proven to be one of the Tigers’ most consistent offensive options along with fellow running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
“I just had to be patient,” Brossette said. “I just learned from those guys (like Fournette and Guice). I’m glad I went through it to see what I need to work on and bond with those guys.
“In high school, everything is given to you. It teaches you patience as a player, and I’m just thankful for learning from those guys and everything is panning out now.”
He has 792 yards and 11 touchdown rushes on 181 carries, putting him in position to add himself to the list of LSU running backs with 1,000-yard seasons.
A lot of college athletes in similar positions to Brossette choose to transfer, giving themselves a chance to play more immediately.
That just never seemed like an option for Brossette.
“I stuck it out,” Brossette said. “I put my big boy pants on. It’s crazy. It’s all paying off now. I’m excited to finish the season off on a good note.”
On Saturday, Brossette will get a chance to celebrate his LSU career alongside some of the most important people in his life.
He plans on trying to get everyone on the field at Tiger Stadium for the pre-game senior tribute, from his mother, to his brother and even his nieces.
He also plans on having a tribute to his older brother who died unexpectedly just as Brossette’s collegiate career got started.
“I’m going to try to get everybody out,” Brossette said. “I’ve been thinking about having a picture of my big brother and stuff. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’m going to have a framed picture of him out there.”
Brossette said he owes his success and gratitude to LSU for allowing a hometown kid to thrive and succeed, even if it didn’t happen immediately.
His last game in Tiger Stadium may not be the flashiest as the Tigers take on a 1-10 Rice team that comes to Baton Rouge as a 44-point underdog.
But he plans on savoring every moment he has left in Death Valley because for him, that’s home.
“It’s going to be special,” Brossette said. “I’m not going to lie, I’ve been thinking about it. It’s crazy that this is going to be my last game in Tiger Stadium. I’m excited for it.
“The fans and everybody, they offered a lot to me. It’s crazy how my experience has been at LSU. I just want to thank everybody.”