Fournette NFL speculation is just that, Miles said

Saturday’s games

South Carolina at Missouri, noon, SEC Network

Alabama at Georgia, 3:30 p.m., CBS

San Jose State at Auburn, 4 p.m., SEC Network

Eastern Michigan at LSU, 7 p.m., ESPNU

Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m. CBS Sports Network

Arkansas at Tennessee, 7 p.m., ESPN2

Ole Miss at Florida, 7 p.m., ESPN

Mississippi State at Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network

Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network Alternate

This has become the season of Leonard Fournette.

Fournette is favored by many to win the Heisman Trophy, even though more than two-thirds of the season remains to be played, and Herschel Walker told TMZ this week that Fournette is better than he was at Georgia.

And now, some folks are saying Fournette should skip next season so he won’t get hurt playing for LSU and remain healthy for the 2017 NFL Draft.

LSU’s star running back promptly tweeted: “I will never jump ship. … I’m drowning with my brothers.”

Fournette, who has 631 yards rushing in three games (210.3-yard average), is on a pace to break Walker’s SEC single-season mark of 1,891 yards set in 1981.

If he continues, he’ll finish with 2,524 yards and 32 touchdowns on 8.64 yards per carry, reported, which would all be SEC records.

And remember, Fournette missed a game when LSU’s opener with McNeese State was canceled because of storms.

“No doubt, he’s probably the best player I’ve ever been around,” LSU offensive tackle Vadal Alexander (Buford) told “If it’s one-on-one, he wins it 100 percent of the time. I haven’t seen him not win a one-on-one battle, practice or games.”

LSU coach Les Miles can’t imagine Fournette sitting out next season.

“What you have to realize is that people that say things — if you’re gainfully employed and you’re sitting in front of a microphone, you have to say something that stirs the pot,” Miles said on his weekly radio show, as reported by “So, to me, there’s a lot of people out there stirring the pot. Just, let’s make controversy. Why not?

“And I think there’s a lot of speculation and a lot of conversation that speaks to ‘what if’ for someone else.”

Fournette is a sophomore who won’t be eligible for the draft until after next season.

The other Nkemdiche: Robert Nkemdiche (Grayson) has been trending most of the season, thanks to his tackles and touchdowns, but older brother Denzel leads Ole Miss with 29 tackles, including five for loss.

Denzel Nkemdiche, who starts at outside linebacker, has recovered from a broken ankle that forced him to miss the final games last season.

He had a career-high 14 tackles in the win over Vanderbilt, one week after he finished with 10 and a half-sack against Alabama.

The video of Denzel leveling Alabama quarterback Cooper Bateman after he threw an interception has drawn plenty of attention on the Internet.

“Every game is different and played like it’s the last one,” Denzel said. “You have to tell yourself that every day is leading up to this Saturday and this Saturday could be the last Saturday.”

Making his way: Expect to see more of T.J. Holloman (St. Pius) at middle linebacker for South Carolina.

Coaches moved starter Skai Moore to weakside linebacker to provide production at that position, opening a spot for Holloman in the middle.

He responded by intercepting two passes in the third quarter to help South Carolina defeat Central Florida on Saturday.

Moore had nine tackles and Holloman added six, including a tackle for loss.

It was his first start of the season after four last season and three as a freshman.

“I felt at home out there,” Holloman said after the game. “It was my position and I got a lot of interceptions in.”

Mauk gone: Missouri's Maty Mauk, one of the SEC's more experienced quarterbacks, was suspended for Saturday's game against South Carolina for a violation of team rules, but he also has been playing while his dad has been undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer.

Maty Mauk was with his father, Mike Mauk, when he had surgery earlier this week.

“He’s a pretty focused guy,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said about Maty. “He’ll never have excuses for anything.”

Freshman Drew Lock, who has played in all four games, will make his first start.

He is 15-of-25 for 225 yards and a touchdown this season.

Commodores connection: Vanderbilt quarterback Johnny McCrary (Cedar Grove) has found his favorite receiver.

Trent Sherfield, who caught 16 passes for 240 yards in the Commodores’ win over Austin Peay on Sept. 19, grabbed seven more for 55 yards in the loss to Ole Miss.

Sherfield leads the SEC with 28 catches and ranks second with 402 yards, behind Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk (442 yards).

McCrary, who set Vanderbilt’s single-game completion percentage record at 84.9 percent (28-of-33) against Austin Peay, ranks third in the SEC with 1,074 yards passing.

He said it: "He is everything you want in a quarterback. He's smart, he's physical, he exudes confidence. He's a great ambassador for Mississippi State and the league, and a tough guy. He has been on the big stage, understands what winning is about. You watch him. He's poised. He's got everything." — Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott

Etc.: Ole Miss is 4-0 for the second consecutive year for the first time since 1961-62. … Auburn's Daniel Carlson has three of the longest field goals in the FBS this season, including a 56-yarder against Louisville, which is the second-longest in the nation. … South Carolina has shut out opponents in the second half of three of its four games. Only Georgia has scored after halftime against the Gamecocks. … Running back Kelvin Taylor has scored in each of Florida's four games, the first Gator to do that since Tim Tebow in 2009. … Ole Miss' Evan Engram (Hillgrove) needs 116 yards receiving to become the leading receiver among tight ends in program history. He has 998 career yards on 64 catches, which ranks fourth all-time for tight ends at Ole Miss. … Prescott has thrown 191 consecutive passes without an interception.