Amp Hill's injury-marred career at LSU over
Amp Hill's injury-marred career at LSU over
By SCOTT RABALAIS
The lights have officially gone out on Amp Hill's injury marred career at LSU.
LSU announced Wednesday that the sophomore wide receiver will seek a transfer to an unspecified school. Coach Les Miles said he will grant Hill's release.
Miles said he spoke twice to Hill, who returned home to Florida, before announcing his release.
"I certainly understand it," Miles said after Wednesday's two-a-day practices. "I don't necessarily want it. He had every opportunity to succeed here. The combination of the talent in front of him and his severe injury put him behind in his playing."
Hill, a native of Jacksonville, was considered one of the nation's top receiver prospects when he signed with LSU as part of its No. 1-ranked recruiting class in 2003. He was rated as high as the nation's ninth-best receiver prospect that year.
But Hill's LSU career was short circuited when he tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during practice on Aug. 12, 2003.
He was forced to redshirt and saw only brief action in 2004. Hill never caught a single pass as an LSU Tiger. He played only 15 snaps last season: 10 against Mississippi State, one against Alabama and four at Arkansas.
Hill, who was running no better than third-string at one of the wide receiver positions, never lettered for LSU.
Miles contended that he tried to persuade Hill to stay with the team or at least in school.
"He would have to pursue rehabilitation and work hard at it and compete," Miles said. "Our talent level is good and getting better. It's not an easy hurdle to overcome.
"Me personally, I think getting a degree from LSU is special, and I told him so."
Hill's departure is the second loss for the Tigers in less than a week.
Friday, LSU lost starting tailback Alley Broussard to a season-ending knee injury. Broussard is expected to return to the team in 2006.
Miles excited over two-a-days
Talk of Hill's departure did little to diminish Miles' enthusiasm over the way his Tigers practiced Wednesday.
"Good practice. Good practice," he said. "Aggressive. Competitive. Just what we needed."
What his team really seems to need is a game, but that won't come until Sept. 3 when North Texas visits Tiger Stadium.
"I think they're kind of ready to play," Miles said. "There's some want to. Maybe we can get another team to come in here and play.
"Unfortunately there's a little time left before we get to do that."
The Tigers will have a brief 25-30 play scrimmage today, go through their final two-a-day session Friday and scrimmage again Saturday.
Miles noted competition in several areas, including between the offense and defense.
"This morning the offense called the defense out," Miles said. "This afternoon, the defense answered that call. That's great."
He made a point of talking about the battle between quarterbacks JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn when freshman Ryan Perrilloux giving chase.
"I like what's going on at quarterback. I think both guys are stepping up. Perrilloux is talented and bright, has some moxie going to him for a young guy. I like what's going on there."
In the linebacker corps, Miles said Ali Highsmith is pushing Kenny Hollis at the strongside position, while Luke Sanders is doing the same at middle linebacker behind Cameron Vaughn.
One player not factoring into the mix right now is defensive end Kirston Pittman.
"I don't know," Miles said. "He's been slowed by injury and hasn't shown the flashes of the Kirston Pittman you might recall."
Cornerback Mario Stevenson (ankle) was one of several players who missed practice along with tight end Doug Planchard (knee) and offensive lineman Max Holmes (leg). Offensive guard Garrett Wibel practiced in a green (no contact) jersey, as did the quarterbacks.
Friday practice on ESPN
ESPN's preseason tour of college football camps will bring its cameras to LSU's Charles McClendon Football Practice Facility on Friday.
The network will air a one-hour special on LSU starting at noon Friday, condensing tape from Friday's 8 a.m. workout into a 60-minute show.
The program can be seen locally on Cox Cable Ch. 35.
This is the second straight year ESPN has done a show from LSU.
"It's wonderful exposure for the program," Miles said. "But it'll be business as usual, minus the stages and all that other stuff."
In addition to taping the practice, ESPN will also put a live microphone on Miles during the workout, while also taking a close look at some of the individual drills done at each position.
Hosting the telecast will be ESPN college football play-by-play announcer Ron Franklin, color analyst Bill Curry and studio analyst Mark May.
LSU has added an extra offensive lineman since the start of fall practice.
Andrew Decker is a 6-foot-4, 275-pound transfer from Toledo. He is a freshman on this year's team and will be required to sit out this season before becoming eligible in 2006.
Like Miles, Decker is a native of Ohio. He hails from Holland, a suburb of Toledo, while Miles is from Elyria, a suburb of Cleveland.
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