Jeremy Hill remembers his first interaction with Odell Beckham Jr. Not because of how Beckham looked, but how he did not look.
"He was 15 and he weighed probably a buck sixty-five," Hill says of a high school LSU recruiting trip. "He was special back then. He's always had those big hands and he's always been freakishly athletically. It was just a matter of him getting the right opportunity and he has the perfect opportunity in New York and they're really showcasing his skills."
Hill and Beckham, born 16 days apart, kept in touch and eventually went to LSU together. Hill was a local star from Baton Rouge, while Beckham moved Louisiana cities from New Orleans.
"He was a really small kid," Hill says. "I really didn't think he would be where he was, honestly, until I saw him play. When I met him, I didn't see one single highlight. I didn't know anything about him. As soon as I saw him play though, I knew."
Hill and Beckham did not win a national championship at LSU, but they were part of an NFL-ready monster. In the 2014 NFL draft, Hill and Beckham were among nine Tigers selected. Jarvis Landry, Zach Mettenberger and Trai Turner were three of the others.
"We had, I think, the most people on opening Sunday in the NFL," Hill says of LSU's having a league-leading 40 players on Week 1 rosters. "I probably played with at least 25 of those guys.
"We always wanted to win a national championship, but unfortunately we weren't able to accomplish it. That was something we talked about in high school. How cool would it be to go to the same college and then all go to the NFL the same year? It's just crazy how it all played out."
LSU has moved on after the Hill-Beckham Era. The 7-0 Tigers are No. 4 in both polls, led by Heisman Trophy favorite Leonard Fournette. Fournette, a true sophomore, leads FBS with 1,352 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.
Hill says he did not talk to Fournette before transitioning the running back position.
"From what I know and from what people tell me, he's a great guy and he's super humble and he's super hungry and that's all you need to have to be a great back," Hill says. "He's done tremendous things and he's going to continue to do tremendous things. I love watching him. Every time I turn on the TV, I love when No. 7 gets the ball."
LSU has this weekend off while Hill travels to Pittsburgh for an AFC North showdown with the Steelers. The Tigers will not rest easy on the bye week. A trip to Tuscaloosa awaits on Nov. 7. Hill and the Bengals happen to play on Nov. 5, meaning the team has the weekend off. If things line up, Hill and his Tigers and Crimson Tide teammates are considering making the trip to Alabama.
"I probably wouldn't be as excited if I didn't have so many teammates who went to Alabama," Hill says with a laugh. "I got to hear from them every week. I'm definitely more excited than I should be just because I got to deal with all the trash-talking, but it's cool."
Outside of football, Hill is an avid gamer and spokesperson for Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which comes out Nov. 6. Marshawn Lynch was featured in the game's trailer, and there may be more where that comes from.
"I think for a lot of people that play video games, they watch football too, so having them intertwined, would be a pretty cool thing in my opinion," Hill says of the potential of NFL players in the Call of Duty series.
The only battle Hill is focused on right now is in Pittsburgh. The Bengals are 6-0 with a 2 1/2-game lead on the Steelers in the division.
Bragging rights over a long time rival are on the line.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.