Leonard Fournette - a 5-star incoming recruit. Terrence Magee - awarded the #18 jersey. It seems as though every LSU running back made the headlines this offseason...except for one. That one, Kenny Hilliard, decided to make the headlines when it mattered most.
Hilliard bursted in to 2014 with 110 yards and a touchdown, helping his team not only come back from a 24-7 deficit - but to put the game away in the 4th quarter. He did so after coming in to the season flying under the radar.
Instead, freshman running back Fournette and fellow senior Terrence Magee garnered all the attention. While those two struggled, it was Hilliard who stepped up.
"Whenever your number is called, you have to be ready to go in and showcase your ability," Hilliard said.
Behind an offensive line who could not get a push early in the game - offensive lineman Vadal Alexander says Hilliard's performance was exactly what was needed.
"Veteran guy, veteran running back...the leader of this team," Alexander said. "He delivered when we needed him to, he deserved it and he played great."
Hilliard's 100-yard display in the comeback victory wasn't his first moment in the spotlight - but after sharing the backfield with talended backs over the years, his patience has been put to the test.
"Hes a real humble guy...he works hard...God blesses people like that. If you stay humble and remain confident, you're going to do great things," said Ronald Martin, the LSU safety who arrived on campus when Hilliard did.
Hilliard says he owes his attitude and persistence to one special person in his life.
"My mother...she always told me to stay humble. That's basically how I look at it. I thank God and that's it," Hilliard said.
It remains to be seen what Hilliard's role will be going foward. But, for at least one night in the Lone Star state, Kenny Hilliard was THE star.