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LSU RB Jeremy Hill declares for draft

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer

After back-to-back seasons leading LSU in rushing, controversial redshirt sophomore tailback Jeremy Hill has reversed course and is heading to the NFL Draft.

Hill had reportedly planned to return for his junior season as recently as last week, but tweeted the following Monday morning:

Hill burst onto the scene late in the 2012 season, stringing together a series of explosive 100-yard performances and leading the Tigers with 755 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Hill built on that success with a team-high 1,401 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013, capped by a 216-yard showing in the Outback Bowl win over Iowa.

But Hill's offseason was marred by his July guilty plea to a simple battery charge stemming from an April incident at a Baton Rouge bar in which Hill was caught punching a man on video. That arrest violated the terms of Hill's existing probation dating to his guilty plea to carnal knowledge of a juvenile in high school -- an incident that forced Hill to delay his enrollment at LSU by a year -- but in August a judge extended Hill's probation and declined to send him to jail, paving the way for Hill's reinstatement to the team.

The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Hill is now ranked by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 8 tailback in the draft, and the Baton Rouge native could go off the board as soon as the third round.

Hill's decision could have been influenced by the imminent arrival of Leonard Fournette, the five-star No. 1-ranked running back in the class of 2014 who recently committed to LSU.

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