Jeremy Hill, NFL teams move on from past troubles

Jeremy Hill has moved on, and so have NFL teams, he said.

The former LSU running back and Redemptorist star has dealt with his off-the-field issues and said pro teams haven’t “drilled” him about it.

“They let me tell my side, and that was it,” Hill said. “They understand, and they moved on from it to football.”

Hill improved on his numbers from the NFL combine at LSU’s Pro Day on Wednesday. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds and had a 31-inch vertical jump. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds and had a 29-inch vertical jump at the combine in February.

“My game will speak for itself. I wanted to improve on things I did at the combine,” he said. “Think I did that. It wasn’t perfect, but I improved.”

Hill has a busy month preceding the NFL draft May 8-10. He’ll visit a host of NFL teams for workouts, though he would not reveal the team names.

Hill ran for 1,401 yards last season, the second-most in LSU history, and scored 16 touchdowns. He leaped early for the NFL draft as a redshirt sophomore.

Hill is projected as a second or third round draft pick, despite his past — he’s been arrested twice.

He said that’s all behind him. Hill sent a letter to each NFL team about the off-the-field issues.

“They didn’t really drill me about it,” he said. “I told them what happened, and that’s pretty much it.”

LSU coach Les Miles, on hand for some of pro day, agreed.

“I can tell you that I believe his character issues are behind him,” Miles said. “He’s a guy that certainly made some mistakes but is also a guy (who) understands this is an opportunity to start fresh and do right.”

Beckham squared

The individual workout of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was closely watched by his father, former LSU running back Odell Beckham.

Seated in a set of bleachers looking relaxed after the wideouts worked with quarterback Zach Mettenberger, the elder Beckham said his son visited with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots on Tuesday night and was to meet with the Saints, along with teammate Jarvis Landry, on Wednesday night.

Beckham Jr., who last Thursday was invited to the NFL draft headquarters in New York City, flies out Thursday morning for a meeting with the Buffalo Bills at their headquarters.

“It’s truly a blessing,” Odell Beckham Jr. said of the New York trip. “We’re definitely excited.”

Williford returns

Josh Williford is just here for the gear.

Williford, the LSU former offensive lineman whose career ended after a concussion in fall camp, worked out in front of NFL scouts and coaches at LSU’s Pro Day.

Hoping for an NFL spot? Nah.

“I’m happy to get all of this gear!” Williford said with a laugh.

Williford and the other participants received apparel for participating. He has no plans to join an NFL roster and is looking for a job in business.

Williford missed his senior season last year after suffering a concussion in August.

It’s still tough to think about.

“Got to take it day by day,” he said. “It’s real tough. You’ve got to adjust. You’re not an athlete anymore.”

Williford did the broad jump (90 inches) and the bench press. He pumped 225 pounds 22 times as teammates urged him on in the LSU weight room.

“It’s like I never left,” Williford.

Making a mark

After not being invited to the NFL scouting combine, wide receiver Kadron Boone tried to make the most of his chances Wednesday.

LSU strength coach Tommy Moffitt clocked the Tigers in the 40-yard dash and had hand-times of 4.44 and 4.49 seconds on Boone.

“I’m sure a lot of teams haven’t seen me run,” Boone said later. “So that was the main thing for me: the 40. I just tried to do some things to grab the attention of some NFL teams.”

Ego and ‘Freak’

Ego Ferguson lost his hair.

Ferguson, the defensive tackle from Florida who left early for the draft, shaved his head in preparation for pro day.

“Got to look sharp,” he said smiling.

Ferguson worked out in front of scouts and coaches along with Anthony “Freak” Johnson.

The pair anchored LSU’s defensive line last season before making the early leap to the pros.

Scouts are looking at Ferguson as a nose tackle and Johnson as an end in a 3-4 scheme, Johnson said.

No 40

Several players did not run the 40-yard dash Wednesday, opting to stand on their times from the NFL Combine in February. They included Lamin Barrow, Craig Loston, Trai Turner, Beckham Jr. and Anthony Johnson.