Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

January 14, 2014

LSU's Hill, Landry, Beckham, Turner turning pro

BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU's top rusher and top two receivers are entering the NFL draft, along with one of the Tigers' starting offensive linemen.

In separate announcements Monday, sophomore running back Jeremy Hill, junior receiver Jarvis Landry and sophomore right guard Trai Turner have confirmed their intentions to turn pro. LSU also confirmed receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s decision.

Hill has played two seasons at LSU and was the Tigers' leading rusher each season.

''I am a Tiger for life. I will forever be grateful to my LSU fans, friends, coaches and family. This decision has been very difficult for me,'' Hill wrote on a social media account that was verified by LSU's chief athletic spokesman Michael Bonnette. ''With all of that being said, I have decided to forego my Junior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.''

Landry was expected to turn pro after racking up 1,193 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in his third season, and finally released his decision through a short written statement released by LSU.

''It's has been the best three years of my life,'' Landry said of his time at LSU. ''I will always be a Tiger.''

Beckham, a junior, had 1,152 yards and eight TDs receiving, and together he and Landry accounted 2,345 of the 3,263 yards receiving LSU had as a team.

Beckham also was LSU's primary kick and punt returner, and even returned a missed field goal 100 yards for a score.

Turner has started at right guard since the middle of 2012, his redshirt freshman year, and leaves with two years of eligibility left.

Hill rushed for 1,401 yards and 16 touchdowns this season, including a 216-yard, two-touchdown performance in LSU's 21-14 victory over Iowa in the Outback Bowl.

In a statement issued by his agent, Peter Schaffer, Turner said he ''loved every minute'' at LSU and came to his decision ''after lengthy, serious consideration with my family and coaches.''

Turner said coach Les Miles and his offensive staff ''prepared me for this extraordinary opportunity and are supporting me in my decision.''

Hill's college career was delayed one season by criminal charges stemming from his sexual relationship with a girl at his Baton Rouge high school, which resulted in a misdemeanor plea and two years' probation.

Then last spring, he was caught on video punching a fellow LSU student outside a bar, resulting in more charges and a suspension from the team.

That led to an additional misdemeanor plea, but a state judge in August allowed him to remain on probation - albeit under a curfew, bar-ban and other restrictions - and Miles allowed Hill to return to the Tigers for fall practice.

Miles disciplined Hill by not allowing him to play in the season-opener in Dallas against TCU, which LSU won without him. Hill returned in the second game of the season and quickly earned back his starting job.

Hill waited about two weeks after LSU's season ended to make his announcement. Had he decided to come back, the Tigers would have welcomed that, given the uncertainty surrounding their passing game because of the departures of senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger and turnover at receiver.

But LSU's running game is still expected to be formidable with the arrival of Leonard Fournette and the return of Terrence Magee, who rushed for 644 yards and eight TDs on only 86 carries - an average of 7.3 yards per carry.

Fournette, who starred in high school for St. Augustine in New Orleans and was selected Louisiana's 2013 Mr. Football, announced on Jan. 2 he'd attend LSU.

The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Fournette was widely considered the top high school running back in the country this past fall, and had narrowed his choices to LSU, Alabama and Texas before ultimately announcing his intention to join the Tigers.

 

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