It is without question that the LSU offense is going to miss Jeremy Hill in 2014 after he had an incredible sophomore season when he rushed for more than 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns.
He eclipsed the century mark on the ground in 7 games this year, and in five of those he rushed for at least 143 yards. Hill saved the best for last in the Outback Bowl with the passing game struggling, he rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns to help LSU beat Iowa.
Unfortunately for LSU, Hill decided to forgo his junior season and enter the NFL Draft. Replacing Hill will be no easy task but the Tigers have three backs ready to take on the challenge.
Size: 5-9, 212 lbs.
Year: rising Senior
2013 statistics: 626 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns
This season, Magee was expected to be buried deep on the depth chart, but got an opportunity to play in the season opener due to Jeremy Hill’s suspension.
Magee did not disappoint as he rushed for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 52-yard touchdown burst. He rushed for over 100 yards in three games with his best performance coming against Texas A&M when he ran for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Size: 6-0, 231 lbs.
Year: rising Senior
2013 statistics: 310 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns
Hilliard came into the season expecting to be the number two rushing option behind Hill, but his work load was decreased significantly due to Magee’s breakout season.
Hilliard’s 310 rushing yards were 154 less than his sophomore total. His best game was against Mississippi State, when he rushed for 39 yards and while it sounds like an ordinary game, Hilliard found the end zone on half of six carries. With Hill gone, Hilliard will have a chance to earn more carries in 2014.
Size: 6-1, 225 lbs.
Year: incoming freshman
High school statistics: 5,036 rushing yards and 63 rushing touchdowns.
Landing the number one recruit in the nation was obviously huge for LSU, especially now that Hill is off to the NFL. After a sensational high school career Fournette is already drawing comparisons to NFL superstar Adrian Peterson.
As a true freshman he will face incredibly high expectations, but looks every bit the part and with a veteran offensive line should live up to the billing.
Hill leaving for the NFL Draft is a big loss for LSU, but the Tigers have three talented running backs ready to take his place, so don’t expect the running game to experience a significant drop-off in 2014.