For most college freshman, the first year at a university is more about becoming used to your surroundings and college life itself more than anything. For some, greater things happen right away. Jeremy Hill, a freshman running back for the LSU Tigers‘ is experiencing such a beginning to his life as a college student & athlete. In the last month, Hill has gone from routinely sitting on the bench to becoming a necessary component of the Tigers’ offense.
Hill first came to the attention of the country in the second half of the Tigers’ win over the South Carolina Gamecocks around three weeks ago. Down at halftime, the Tigers’ offense put together several scoring drives in the second half with Hill’s help, and some that ended in scores by Hill. His seven-yard touchdown run in the third quarter put the Tigers ahead and his 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth ended up sealing the win for them.
The following week against the Texas A&M Aggies, Hill had another nice outing and again it was a major necessity to his team achieving victory. The Aggies kept the Tigers off of the scoreboard almost until halftime of the game and Tigers’ quarterback Zach Mettenberger was in the middle of an off day. The Tigers ended up with the lead at halftime thanks to a late surge, and it was Hill who finished off the Tigers’ opponent for the second week in a row. It was another big fourth quarter touchdown run (this one from only 47 yards) from Hill that put the Tigers out of their opponent’s reach.
In actuality, Hill’s first experience on the field for the Tigers came in a forgone conclusion win against the Idaho Vandals. That night Hill scored twice on ten carries, but didn’t get more than three touches again until the game against the Gamecocks.
If the fourth quarter comes along this Saturday when the Tigers take on the Alabama Crimson Tide and the game is close, look for Hill to get the ball in the hopes that he will produce another big touchdown.
The Aggies defense may not be that good this year, but the Gamecocks’ defense has done good this season and was riding a large wave of momentum into their game against the Tigers. The Crimson Tide defense is in the middle of another thoroughly efficient season of domination. So far the Tide have given the worst outing of otherwise good seasons to running backs like LaDarius Perkins of the Mississippi St. Bulldogs and Antonio Andrews of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
Hill has had two straight games that have gone above expectations, but now comes a game against the best defense that Hill has ever faced in his football life. It is also the most pressure-filled game that Hill has played in; it’s not Hill’s first playing time in primetime, but it is the first game he will play in that has legitimate national championship possibilities for his team if they win. It’s big pressure, but in such a game, even one or two big runs could help a player like Hill make a mark in the game without having to have an over-the-top kind of performance.