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Hill still gets thrill


         Was Jeremy Hill thinking about 1,100 yards back in training camp?

PHOENIX, Ariz. -  The blazer was by Tallia Orange. The shoes were by Johnston and Murphy. The pocket square was by The Tie Bar. The player was by the Bengals. Second round. Pick No. 55.

But running back Jeremy Hill's most impressive carry Saturday night turned out to be bringing his mother along to the NFL Honors ceremony here at Symphony Hall. Lisa Hill wore a black evening gown and a smile wider than the swath her son cut through the NFL his rookie season.

"I'm so humbled, so honored to be here supporting him," Lisa Hill said. "It really is exciting."

Maybe the only one who thought Hill had a shot at Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year was Hill himself. Especially when Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater stunningly won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year vote the day before over Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

The smart money Saturday night was on New York carrying the day for Beckham, Hill's former LSU teammate, and he got 42 of the 50 votes. Seven went to Cowboys guard Zak Martin and Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans got the remaining vote.  Beckham also beat out his fellow Tigers wide receiver and even though Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry had 84 catches, he also didn't get a vote.

"We'd be in the middle of our game and they would be playing and I'd be looking up at the (scoreboard) trying to see what they're doing, trying to see if they scored," Beckham said. "Those are like my brothers. I want to see them be successful. We're really very tight."

Beckham said there was no competition with Hill's five 100-yard games.

"That's like a brother of mine, we just want to see each other do well," he said. "Look out for Jarvis, too. He's a beast down in Miami.

Beckham also matched Hill by escorting his mother to the ceremony.

"I don't know now. After Teddy won for Pepsi, you never know who can win," said Hill, before he went down the red carpet.  "We'll see.  Anybody can win at this point. I think I'm the only rookie (nominated) from a playoff team, so maybe that will do it."

Leading all rookie running backs with 1,124 yards shouldn't have hurt either for the Bengals' first 1,000-yard rookie season since Corey Dillon 17 years ago. He made a Cincinnati connection during his whirlwind week at his first Super Bowl when he joined one of the more famous Bengals fans, Nick Lachey,  at Friday night's VH1 Papa John's® Super Bowl Blitz at Luke Air Force Base. Lachey hosted the bash that went live on VH1 and Hill appeared in one of the segments talking football and the troops before introducing the band "Fall Out Boy."

"It was cool meeting the troops and giving them the respect and the honor they deserve," Hill said. "(Lachey) definitely knew who I was and about the games. We exchanged info and we'll definitely meet back up when I go back to Cincinnati."

Hill also made an appearance Thursday at the NFL Experience on a small turf field and went through some drills with fans.

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