It’s been a long road to college football for Jeremy Hill,
but on Thursday, the former Redemptorist running back will attend his first
class on the LSU campus.
“Words can’t even explain it,” Hill said. “I am on a full
scholarship this semester. I am so blessed for this opportunity. I have waited
my whole life to play college football, and I am going to take advantage of it
and ball out.”
Hill was expected to join the Tigers on National Signing Day
last February, but his recruitment process took an unexpected turn on Jan. 12,
Then an 18-year old senior at Redemptorist, Hill was
arrested on charges of oral sexual battery of a 14-year-old girl, a fellow
student. Hill was expelled and finished high school through home-school
With his future on the football field on hold, Hill didn’t
sign with a program and drifted out of sight and out of mind in the recruiting
“I stayed to myself,” Hill said. “I wanted to remain
even-keeled with everything. I just wanted to be patient and learn from it and
The patience paid off on Jan. 6, when Hill pleaded guilty to
carnal knowledge of a juvenile, which is a misdemeanor. The reduction in
charges from the judge came with two years of probation.
That meant Hill, who had been out of football for more than
a year, was going to be able to enroll in college for the spring semester and
sign on with a program on Feb. 1.
For the Baton Rouge native, staying home at LSU was the only
option he considered after his arrest.
“There were a lot of teams calling and asking what was up
with my situation, but I never once opened up the recruitment process,” Hill
said. “I stuck with LSU. And just to clear things up, I never committed to
Auburn before everything happened with my legal situation. Those rumors weren’t
“After that, I just tried to get the legal process and my
academics settled. I wasn’t worried about the recruiting process. I was worried
about other things.”
Now enrolled in classes in Baton Rouge, Hill had a message
to one member of the LSU staff and every fan that stood by his side throughout
his recruitment process.
“I really want to thank coach Frank (Wilson) for everything
he’s done,” Hill said. “He always stuck by my side and always stayed in touch
with me and always recruited me. He never left. I thank him for sticking by my
side and getting me into school.
“I also appreciated the fans who stuck by my side. I’m sure
those people will be rooting me on during Saturday nights in Death Valley.”
Off the field and away from the routine of the football grind
with a program, Hill has been forced to stay in shape on his own.
Weighing in at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, the four-star running back
prospect said he’s in arguably the best shape of his life.
“When you have a lot of time to yourself, you have time to try
out different things to see what works for you,” Hill said. “I have been
working out with different people. I have been going to Gayle Hatch and then doing things like running the
“I am staying in shape and waiting for the opportunity to
Hill, who will be classified as a freshman next fall, will
join an LSU backfield with juniors Spencer Ware, Michael Ford and Alfred Blue
and sophomores Kenny Hilliard and Terrance Magee.
“It’s a heavy-hitting backfield,” Hill said. “It’s going to
be great running with those guys. They have all proven themselves, and I am
just ready to prove myself. I am ready for the opportunity.”
Back in a classroom for the first time in more than a year,
Hill stressed that the day was about much more than football.
“When I committed to Les Miles and LSU as a junior, I
committed for so many other reasons than why I am committing now,” he said. “I
have matured so much from back then, and I thank God for everything that’s
happened. It’s crazy how things change over time.
“The situation has taught me a lot of life lessons. I can go
forward and maybe help some other people one day. I am just very grateful.”