LSU RB Jeremy Hill no longer on probation

LSU running back Jeremy Hill, one of the top running back prospects in the upcoming NFL draft, had his probation lifted by a judge Wednesday, clearing the way for the third-year sophomore to enter the NFL clear of the legal issues that have marred his football career since high school.

State District Judge Mike Erwin ended the probation over the objection of a prosecutor, according to shreveporttimes.com. Had Hill served the entire probationary term, it would have lasted through his NFL rookie season and into the following offseason until the summer of 2015. But while he may have court appearances behind him, the court of opinion among NFL personnel executives will continue to be something Hill must confront with good off-field decisions, according to NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks.

"It's a positive move for him, but his behavior leading up to the consequences will still make him a character risk for some," Brooks said. "He needs to continue to address and alleviate concerns about future incidents in meetings with team personnel, and continue to stay out of trouble. If he presents a convincing case and stays clean, he should reduce the concerns about his actions going forward."

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock regards Hill as the third-best running back in the draft, although with running backs devalued as draft prospects, being among the best at the position guarantees little in terms of which round Hill can expect to be chosen.

Hill was placed on two years of probation last summer to close the case of a battery charge for punching a bar patron from behind outside a Baton Rouge (La.) night club last spring. At the time, Hill was already on probation on a charge of unlawful carnal knowledge of an underage female from his days at Baton Rouge Redemptorist High, prompting speculation that LSU coach Les Miles could dismiss the star running back. Instead, Miles reinstated Hill to the team on the very day he avoided jail time in favor of a renewed probationary term, though he sat out the Tigers' season-opening game against TCU.

Hill sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams prior to the NFL Scouting Combine last month regarding both arrests, including character references.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread.*

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