Jeremy Hill is very good at playing tackle football.
He is even better at breaking tackles.
Hill has the chance to be one of the best LSU running backs ever, which says plenty given LSU's rich history at the position.
Alabama’s TJ Yeldon and Georgia’s Todd Gurley are the best backs in the SEC. Hill belongs in that category.
But an LSU offseason is not an LSU offseason without run-ins with the law.
Hill viciously sucker-punched a man in the head outside of a Tigerland bar, but he avoided prison and was generously issued two years of probation.
Les Miles allowed players to vote whether Hill will be allowed back on the team for this season. His teammates voted unanimously for him to return and Miles controversially reinstated his star running back the day his probation was handed down.
Tigers fans can breathe easy now that Hill will be back on the field in 2013. Yet he probably would have been justifiably kicked off if he were a player of lesser team need and ability.
The players probably voted in Hill’s favor because they are his teammates and would hope he would do the same for them. But he is also an elite running back, one who exponentially increases LSU’s chances of winning.
And the LSU players, above all else, want to win.
LSU has been known for its deep running back units under Miles' tenure. Hill’s backups are Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard. Blue and Hilliard ended last season averaging over six yards per carry.
LSU is not that deep at running back compared to years past. The Tigers only have four running backs on their roster. They could be the only team in the country that has more fullbacks than running backs.
If Hill had been kicked off, LSU would be going into this season with only three running backs total. Blue, Hilliard, and underachieving junior Terrence Magee will not win the SEC by themselves.
Miles knows this, which is why he put his reputation on the line with Hill.
LSU feels comfortable with Blue and Hilliard in the Tigers' opener against TCU, as well they should, but there will still be the rest of the season to go after playing in Dallas.
The backup duo is solid. LSU can win games with them, but the drop-off from Hill to Blue and Hilliard is bigger than people think.