BIRMINGHAM -- Tiger Sports Digest's Ben Love goes in-depth on LSU's running backs as the team…
No. 34 - Kenny Hilliard
No. 34 – RB Kenny Hilliard
Up until this point on TSD's top 50 countdown, there have been a lot of new names to the program and also new faces to the two-deep. With junior running back Kenny Hillliard, there's no such concern when it comes to a lack of familiarity. He's already lived long enough in an LSU uniform to experience the highest of highest (scoring three touchdowns in the 2011 SEC Championship Game) and some legitimate lows (rushing for only 49 total yards in the Tigers' final six games of 2012).
Heading into 2013 it's hard to tell just what kind of impact the powerful Hilliard (6-foot-0, 231 pounds) will have, especially given some of LSU's other backfield options – Jeremy Hill, Alfred Blue and Terrence Magee. For his collegiate career he's rushed for exactly 800 yards and scored 14 touchdowns, so the talent is there to produce. It'll be more about making good on opportunities this fall for Hillliard, who can also mop up some time at fullback for the LSU offense.
By The Numbers
Hilliard's highest ranking: 23rd
Hilliard's lowest ranking: 40th
Why this ranking is too high
Hilliard's sophomore campaign didn't inspire a ton of confidence or point toward a player making the ascension to superstardom after a great finish to his freshman season in 2011. On the contrary Hilliard, hobbled toward the end of the season by an ankle injury, was lapped by fellow back Jeremy Hill on the depth chart and hardly factored into the offense's plans the second half of the season. Maybe it was the injury. Maybe Hilliard just took a step backward. Either way, this ranking seems high enough for the third-rated back on our countdown.
Why this ranking is too low
Unlike a number of players who've come off the board to date (and a few who will be named in days to come), Hilliard has actually produced on the field for LSU already in his career. Plus, the fact that he has the versatility to play tailback and fullback and can run, block and catch from both positions makes him a valuable asset to new coordinator Cam Cameron. There's no need to write Hilliard off yet by any means.
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