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The SEC's 25 best players: No. 12

1/27/2014

His season didn't start under the most positive circumstances, with an offseason arrest delaying his return until a limited workload in Week 2 against UAB, but LSU's Jeremy Hill was a beast once he returned to the lineup full time. His physical running helped him rank among the league's top tailbacks.

No. 12: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

2013 summary: After returning to the lineup against UAB, Hill rushed for at least 100 yards in seven of the remaining 11 games, finishing the fall with 1,401 yards -- the second-best rushing total in school history -- and 16 touchdowns. He was also the team's third-leading receiver with 181 yards on 18 catches.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2013 preseason countdown

Making the case for Hill: He entered the NFL draft after a standout sophomore season because of next-level running ability. His off-the-field issues will almost certainly affect Hill's NFL draft stock, but his skills while toting the rock aren't in doubt. LSU's offense largely sputtered on a wet, miserable day in Tampa when the Tigers faced Iowa in the Outback Bowl, but Hill (28 carries for a career-high 216 yards and two touchdowns) carried the Tigers to a 21-14 win. He also ran 25 times for 184 yards and three scores as LSU handed Auburn its only loss of the regular season and posted 157- and 121-yard outings against Mississippi State and Florida, respectively. Only Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason finished with more rushing yards among SEC backs in 2013.

The rundown:

No. 13: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn, Sr.

No. 14: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia, So.

No. 15: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, Jr.

No. 16: Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU, Jr.

No. 17: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri, Jr.

No. 18: T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama, So.

No. 19: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU, Jr.

No. 20: Cody Prewitt, S, Ole Miss, Jr.

No. 21: Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn, Jr.

No. 22: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama, Jr.

No. 23: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State, Sr.

No. 24: Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt, Sr.

No. 25: E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri, Jr.