By Glenn Guilbeau
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU tailback Jeremy Hill can now stay out until 11 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., District Judge Mike Erwin ruled on Wednesday at Hill’s probation review hearing.
“Jeremy has been adhering to all the terms of his probation and staying out of trouble,” Hill’s attorney Marci Blaize told Gannett Louisiana. “We requested his curfew be shortened from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., and that was granted. Everything went fine, just as we expected. Jeremy has done all the right things.”
Blaize said in court that Hill had trouble going to movies or to a late dinner by 9 p.m.
“He ought to be in the film room,” smiled Erwin, who could have sentenced Hill to six months of jail time last July 12 for misdemeanor simple battery of a man outside a bar near LSU last April while Hill was on probation for pleading guilty on Jan. 10, 2012, to misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a female juvenile. Erwin instead sentenced Hill to two years of supervised probation, 50 hours of community service and the curfew among other terms.
Erwin was referring to game film as the No. 14 Tigers (9-3) are preparing to play Iowa (8-4), which has one of the best defenses in the country, on Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. An LSU graduate, Erwin also brought up LSU football when he sentenced Hill in July.
Hill went on to another stellar season in 2013 as he was named to the first unit of the All-Southeastern Conference team last week after finishing second in the league in rushing with 1,185 yards in just 10 complete games. He was suspended by LSU coach Les Miles for the season opener and for the first quarter of the second game in light of the second arrest and his second guilty plea in 18 months. Hill has also stayed out of trouble since the second arrest on the simple battery charge in April. He was arrested on the carnal knowledge charge by Baton Rouge Police in January of 2011 for an incident that occurred in December of 2010 at Baton Rouge’s Redemptorist High School, where Hill was a star tailback. LSU had planned to sign Hill in February of 2011, but that changed after Hill’s arrest, and he sat out the 2011 season before signing with LSU in January of 2012. He led the Tigers in rushing in the ’12 season with 755 yards and set a school freshman record with 12 touchdowns in 11 games.
Hill has also done well in school and in his personal life, Blaize said. Hill, who was at the hearing, reiterated that after practice Wednesday night.
“I’ve been a 3.0 student since I’ve been here,” he said. “I think I’ve matured so much from last year from just being a freshman and kind of doing what most freshmen do – trying to enjoy the college experience and partying and doing all that stuff. I think that was just too much. I did too much of that last year. I’ve matured so much just between that time and where I am now. I’m just moving forward with the rest of my life. I’ve been involving myself with the community as well. Those are the things that are going to get you far in life – not the partying and just doing all the childish things that I’ve done in the past.”
Blaize also told Judge Erwin that Hill had completed another part of his sentence – paying the medical bills of his battery victim, who was walking away when a staggering Hill ran up from behind, set himself, rared back and punched on the side of the head, according to cellular phone video taken outside Reggie’s Bar near LSU and later obtained by police.
“He has paid $805 to the victim,” Blaize said.
Blaize said Hill has also completed an anger management class and had a successful substance abuse evaluation, which were also part of his probation sentencing for the simple battery guilty plea.
“The only part of his probation he has not completed is the community service work,” Blaize said. “With football, he has not had enough time to get that finished. But he will.”
Hill has completed some of the 50 hours of community service at a fire station in Baton Rouge, Blaize said. The probation period for the simple battery will end on July 12 of 2015. Hill has also been busy with community service work for his previous sentencing.
The two-year probation period Hill is under for his first offense is scheduled to end on Jan. 10, and Hill and Blaize are scheduled to appear in District Judge Bonnie Jackson’s courtroom on that date for a probation review. Jackson added 40 hours of community service work for Hill after the April arrest for simple battery, which violated the original probation.
“He is nearly finished with the community service hours in that one,” Blaize said.
Hill will likely be playing in the NFL before his second probation period for the simple battery charge is scheduled to end in July of 2015. As a third-year sophomore, Hill is eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft if he chooses to enter it. Hill said that he has been in contact with the NFL advisory board, which informs college players what round they may be selected.
“It’s definitely a possibility,” Hill said when asked if the Outback Bowl could be his last game at LSU. “But I really haven’t put too much thought into that. It won’t hit me until after I make my decision to where I’m not in this building every day. I’m still here every day. It feels like nothing has changed. I’m just trying to get ready for this bowl game. If it is my last game, I’ll truly miss this place.”
Hill said he wants to be remembered for how he played at LSU and how he came back from his arrests – not for the arrests.
“After these events that have occurred in my life, I’ve learned how to carry myself,” he said. “And I’ve learned how to approach my life on a day-to-day basis and try to be an example for guys. I tell them in life you are going to make mistakes, but it’s how you come back from them that is the most important thing. If I continue as I have been these last several months, I’ll be fine. I want to leave a legacy of people appreciating me, and when I do step back on campus after I do leave, people will remember me for the things I did for the program.”
James Cobern of All Pro Football Source projects Hill as a possible second round choice in the 2014 NFL Draft but has him more likely to go in the third or fourth round.
Hill currently sees a probation officer once a month in Baton Rouge. The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s office would assign him a new one for whatever state he ends up in as an NFL player, Blaize said.
“Or his probation could be shortened before 2015,” Blaize said. “That happens depending on how terms of the probation are fulfilled, and he is doing well.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football