INDIANAPOLIS — LSU has recently sent numerous running backs to the NFL. And Kenny Hilliard and Terrence Magee would like to be next in that lineage.
“LSU has kind of a stable of backs, and it’s kind of been a tradition,” Hilliard said Thursday at the NFL combine. “Coach Mike Wilson did a great job teaching us and prepared us for this situation to go to the NFL. I think I am ready to showcase my talents for a team.”
Jeremy Hill was a second-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals last year, while Alfred Blue went to the Houston Texans in the sixth round. Hilliard said each of them has reached out to him to offer advice.
“Those guys just say to mind your Ps and Qs and just go out there and work every day,” said Hilliard, who added that Stevan Ridley — a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2011 — occasionally visits Baton Rouge to check on the new crop of Tigers backs.
Hilliard is a power back and scored 27 touchdowns during his career, most of them in the red zone. He thinks NFL teams will realize he has a nose for the end zone and that he doesn’t mind being in a rotation.
“You have to have a two- or three-back rotation in the league,” Hilliard said. “It’s a tough league and people get banged up, so you never know when the next man is going to go down and your number is called. You have to be ready to go.”
Magee ran for 626 yards and eight scores as a junior and saw those numbers dip to 571 yards and three scores last year. He knows he’ll probably be a third-down type back because of his ability to pass block and catch the ball. If he ends up on an NFL team with a backfield rotation like the Patriots or New Orleans Saints, it’d be more of the same.
“When I made the decision to go to LSU, I knew there was running back by committee there,” Magee said. “Selfishly, there are times you want to get more carries, but as I’ve gotten older and I matured, I realized it helped me in the long run. I don’t have as many carries and I’m a lot healthier.
“I’m ready,” Magee added. “The preparation and all the things that led up to this point have me ready. I’m hungry, ready to get on somebody’s team and work.”