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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The SEC's 25 best players: No. 12

By David Ching

His season didn't start under the most positive circumstances, with an offseason arrest delaying his return until a limited workload in Week 2 against UAB, but LSU's Jeremy Hill was a beast once he returned to the lineup full time. His physical running helped him rank among the league's top tailbacks.

Jeremy Hill
LSU RB Jeremy Hill ran for 1,401 yards, which was No. 2 in the SEC, and 16 touchdowns.

No. 12: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

2013 summary: After returning to the lineup against UAB, Hill rushed for at least 100 yards in seven of the remaining 11 games, finishing the fall with 1,401 yards -- the second-best rushing total in school history -- and 16 touchdowns. He was also the team's third-leading receiver with 181 yards on 18 catches.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2013 preseason countdown

Making the case for Hill: He entered the NFL draft after a standout sophomore season because of next-level running ability. His off-the-field issues will almost certainly affect Hill's NFL draft stock, but his skills while toting the rock aren't in doubt. LSU's offense largely sputtered on a wet, miserable day in Tampa when the Tigers faced Iowa in the Outback Bowl, but Hill (28 carries for a career-high 216 yards and two touchdowns) carried the Tigers to a 21-14 win. He also ran 25 times for 184 yards and three scores as LSU handed Auburn its only loss of the regular season and posted 157- and 121-yard outings against Mississippi State and Florida, respectively. Only Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason finished with more rushing yards among SEC backs in 2013.

The rundown:
No. 13: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn, Sr.
No. 14: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia, So.
No. 15: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, Jr.
No. 16: Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU, Jr.
No. 17: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri, Jr.
No. 18: T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama, So.
No. 19: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU, Jr.
No. 20: Cody Prewitt, S, Ole Miss, Jr.
No. 21: Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn, Jr.
No. 22: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama, Jr.
No. 23: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State, Sr.
No. 24: Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt, Sr.
No. 25: E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri, Jr.