CINCINNATI -- The world still has yet to see the best of Jeremy Hill.
At least, that's what the Cincinnati Bengals running back believes.
About a half hour after the Bengals held on to beat the Cardinals in Sunday night's preseason contest that saw Hill handed the ball a game-high 12 times, the rookie took to Twitter to pronounce that he didn't quite hit the gear he knows he can reach.
"Had fun out there with the fellas tonight great team win but I didn't get as #turnt as I would've liked," Hill tweeted.
Yes, "turnt." For the uninitiated, "turnt" is a word made popular by the 2010 release of rapper Roscoe Dash's "All the way turnt up" that has become a pop culture phenomenon. An online site defined it, in part, as a way of describing someone who is "excessively excited or prepared for the current event. In it's entirety, it can commonly be seen used as 'turnt up,' as in 'turned up.'"
In layman's terms, Hill doesn't think he has quite hit the peak excitement level he knows he has in him. What will help him get all the way "turnt" up?
"I've got to get in the end zone," Hill said, laughing earlier this week as he was asked about his tweet. "As an offense, and for myself, we pride ourselves on not turning the ball over and scoring touchdowns. If I get in the end zone, I'll definitely be fully turnt, as I always say."
At LSU last season, he found the end zone 16 times. The season before, in his first with the Tigers, he scored 12 times.
So crossing the goal line isn't a foreign concept to him. But to this point in his NFL career, it has been. Hill still hasn't scored this preseason, but he's hoping to change that Thursday night when the Bengals host the Colts in the preseason finale. If he can find his way into the orange-and-black painted area on Paul Brown Stadium's field, he'll feel a little more at ease, and a little more confident entering the regular season.
"I had a few occasions to break long runs [this preseason]," Hill said, "and I kind of got stopped by a shoelace tackle. In college, I would have taken that to the house. So for me, it's just getting that rhythm and being able to break a couple of tackles at the second level."
Hill, who has faced both first- and second-team defenses so far this preseason, has found that it isn't as easy to just turn a corner and sprint through a hole for an easy score in the NFL. Defensive backs are faster than they are in college. Lanes tend to close up quicker. Jump cuts and juke moves aren't always as effective against savvy defenders who have been in the league for several years.
While Hill may not yet be averaging the 6.9 yards per carry that he had his final season at LSU, he still has to be proud of the 4.8 yards he's averaged to this point in the preseason. On 21 carries, he's rushed for 100 yards. Only veteran Cedric Peerman, who was hurt Sunday and may not play Thursday night, has a higher average. Peerman has collected 6.0 yards per carry on his 18 rushes for 108 yards this preseason. More of his carries have come against reserve-filled defenses than Hill's.
Only second-year starter Giovani Bernard has a rushing touchdown for the Bengals this preseason following a 1-yard dive against the Jets two weeks ago. Part of Hill's plan for the finale is to join Bernard. With Peerman and fellow backups Rex Burkhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis potentially out with injuries, he could have his share of opportunities to do just that.
Whenever that first score comes, Hill believes he'll finally be fully "turnt."
"That'll let me come out of my shell more and build my confidence level up and just continue to better my play," Hill said. "That's what I'm looking forward to."