LSU tailback Jeremy Hill cleared to play vs. UAB

LSU running back Jeremy Hill will be allowed to play Saturday in the Tigers’ home opener against UAB, a source familiar with the situation said Friday.

Hill will not start but will play in a backup role behind senior Alfred Blue and possibly after fellow running backs Kenny Hilliard and Terrence Magee, the source said.

Hill dressed out and participated in pregame warmups for LSU’s season opener against TCU last week in Arlington, Texas, but did not play because of his offseason legal issues. Blue got the start against the Horned Frogs and is expected to start again Saturday.

Hill was suspended from the team in April after being arrested for punching a man in an April 27 incident outside a bar near the LSU campus.

He was placed on probation in January 2012 after he pleaded guilty to carnal knowledge of a juvenile stemming from his arrest in 2011 while a student at Redemptorist High School.

State District Judge Bonnie Jackson on Aug. 5 ruled that Hill did not violate his probation in the April bar fight, allowing the Tigers star to avoid possible jail time. Jackson did add 40 hours of community service to the two-year probation she handed down to Hill in 2012.

LSU coach Les Miles reinstated Hill to the team and allowed him to practice that afternoon.

Miles repeatedly said in the days leading up to the TCU game that Hill would be “withheld from play” but did not give specifics. Miles indicated this week that Hill’s status may have changed for the UAB game but again was not definitive.

“We look forward to playing him as soon as he’s ready,” Miles said Tuesday.

Hill originally committed to LSU in 2011 but did not sign with the Tigers until 2012 because of his original probationary charge.

Once allowed to play last season, Hill became the Tigers’ most prolific running back. He played in 11 games, starting five after Blue went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 3 against Idaho.

Hill became the Tigers’ leading rusher with 755 yards and 12 touchdowns on 142 carries.

His 50-yard touchdown run with five minutes left in the South Carolina game Oct. 13 helped seal the Tigers’ 23-21 victory over the then No. 3 Gamecocks.

A week later, Hill bolted on a 47-yard touchdown run at No. 20 Texas A&M that was the difference in the Tigers’ 24-19 victory.