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Jeremy Hill is ready for NFL

BRADENTON, Fla. -- In our final installment of features on guys who prepared for the scouting combine at IMG Academy, we turn to LSU running back Jeremy Hill.

We'll see how he does in the workouts, but it’s clear this is one smart guy. Hill came out of college early and his reasoning for that decision is very solid.

"If I played any other position, I would have come back for another year," Hill said. "But with the running back position with the wear and tear and the shelf life, I thought it was best for me to come out now. I didn't have any serious injuries, so I thought it was best to come out now."

Hill’s right that the shelf life of running backs isn’t that long. He might as well get into the NFL as quick as he can. And it didn’t hurt that an advisory board projected him as a first- or second-round pick.

Hill could be the first running back taken, according to many draft gurus. He views himself as NFL ready after working with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, a former NFL coach, at LSU.

"Coach Cameron put me in a great position and I’m proud of my production," Hill said. "He had an opportunity to work with Ray Rice and LaDainian Tomlinson. He always talked about those guys and was always comparing their every-day habits and the way they practiced to mine. And he was always telling me what I needed to do to get to their level."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are pretty well set at running back with starter Doug Martin and backups Mike James and Bobby Rainey. But, if Hill is the best player on their board at any given time, anything is possible.

"The one surprising thing is he’s got great hands," IMG Academy director of football operations Chris Weinke said. "We see it every day out here. He’s big and strong and he’s quicker than I thought he would be at 235 pounds. He’s a load coming downhill. I think you could utilize him in a lot of different ways at the next level. I think he has the ability to run inside and outside and you can use him in the passing game. Whoever drafts him is going to get a good all-around running back who is ready to play right away."