Sunday, August 4, 2013
Hill still not with LSU ahead of camp
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Jeremy Hill wasn't among the 103 players who reported to campus a day before LSU started its preseason camp. The Tigers' leading rusher from last season is suspended following a scuffle in a bar parking lot in April.
Hill, the leading rusher for the Tigers as a freshman last season with 755 yards, has a court date regarding the status of his probation Monday. Hill's status with the team will not change until a judge has ruled on whether Hill's probation should be revoked because of the bar scuffle.
"Jeremy Hill's situation remains unchanged," Miles said Sunday. "It is difficult to speculate about what will happen. He will not be at practice. He has not been in the building since he was suspended. We will focus on the people who are in camp."
Freshman defensive back Rashard Robinson also didn't report because he is waiting to be cleared as eligible by the NCAA.
Miles stressed that the Tigers are deep enough at the running back position to withstand a potential loss of Hill for an extended period of time. Alfred Blue, whose 2012 season ended after a knee injury against Idaho in the third game, is the No. 1 tailback as practice begins.
Blue averaged nearly seven yards per carry while rushing for 270 yards before the injury. Kenny Hilliard, who scored three touchdowns in LSU's Southeastern Conference championship-game victory against Georgia two years ago as a freshman, and Terrence Magee are the other running backs.
"Alfred Blue is ready to go," Miles said. "There will be some other guys taking snaps at running back in camp who won't take them in games. If we get to the games with those three tailbacks, we'll be in good shape."
The Tigers lost seven starters on defense, six of whom left early for the NFL -- ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, tackle Bennie Logan, linebacker Kevin Minter, cornerback Tharold Simon and safety Eric Reid. As a result of these early departures, Miles wants to see what the freshmen can do.
"We have to evaluate very, very well in camp," Miles said. "We have a number of very good young people. We are going to give them the opportunity to catch balls and run. We want to see how violent and physical they are. We are going to throw them in there and see what they've got.
The Tigers open against TCU in Arlington, Texas. Two years ago, LSU opened at the same site and knocked off third-ranked Oregon 40-27.
"The opener should be different year in and year out," Miles said. "I like opening the season in Dallas. We can't afford a developmental game. We have to execute from the start. The speed of the game is something we'll focus on in camp. We have to have scrimmages in camp so we'll be ready to compete."