FOXBORO, Mass. — Over the course of a summer, you’ll probably read a lot of stories about NFL players being in the best shape of their lives during training camp. That might not just be a cliche for New England Patriots running back Jeremy Hill.
Hill is listed at 230 pounds but has usually played around 235 or 236 pounds, he said Tuesday. The Patriots wanted him lighter, so he worked this offseason to get down into the 220s, and he’s feeling recharged.
“I feel great,” Hill said. “This is the lightest I’ve been probably since I was in high school. … For me, I’m physically in the best shape I’ve been in in a very long time, so I’m excited and ready to go for sure.”
Hill, who spent most of last season on injured reserve with the Cincinnati Bengals, also had bone spurs that had been bothering him for the last few seasons removed from his ankle. He’s competing for a spot on the Patriots’ 53-man roster, where New England usually keeps five running backs. So, he’s battling it out with Mike Gillislee, Brandon Bolden and Ralph Webb for two spots behind roster locks Rex Burkhead, James White and rookie Sony Michel.
Hill appears to have a leg up on his competition two weeks through camp.
“If anything, I’m more explosive, obviously lighter on my feet,” Hill said about his weight loss. “It will definitely help me out a lot more for sure.”
So, how’d he lose the excess pounds?
“Just eating, watching what I’m eating,” Hill said. “That’s really it. Just working out the same but eating properly. I think that was easier, and it just flew off of me. So, that was all.”
Hill said the last time he weighed around 225 or 226 pounds was when he was a junior in high school. He had over 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns that season. The Patriots would take that.
Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN