A year ago, Alfred Blue and Jeremy Hill were in the same backfield at LSU.
A week ago they combined to make NFL history.
The former Tigers will share the same patch of grass once again this Sunday, as Hill's Cincinnati Bengals will come to NRG Stadium to take on Blue's Houston Texans. The pair is fresh off accomplishing a remarkable feat. The two became the first rookies from the same college to rush for 150 yards on the same day in NFL history.
Blue, in his second career start, ran for 156 yards in the Texans 23-7 win over the Browns last Sunday. Hill more than held his own, rushing for 152 yards as the Bengals defeated the New Orleans Saints 27-10. Both are among the top six rookie rushers in the entire NFL, with Hill leading all first year backs with 556 yards so far this season.
Crazy to think both of them were on the same college team a year ago.
"He texted me (after Sunday's game) and told me he'd be coming down, " Blue said on Wednesday. "To get ready for him and the Bengals. I told him we'd be waiting on them."
Blue and Hill's college careers will always be linked. It was through a Blue injury that Hill was able to crack LSU's rotation. Blue came into the 2012 season as one of LSU's primary backs and averaged 112 yards in the team's first two contests.
Unfortunately for the Boutte, La., native, a knee injury effectively ended his season in week three. It was then that Hill got more opportunities, eventually finishing the season as one of the Tigers lead ball carriers. Hill tallied 755 yards and 12 TDs in 2012, statistically one of the best freshman seasons in LSU history.
Coming into 2013, LSU was loaded at the running back position, with Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard to go along Blue and Hill. All backs shared time, with Hill getting the bulk of the carries. The group combined to rush for 2,630 yards on the year, good enough for fourth in the SEC. Hill had 1,401 of those yards and had 16 TDs to go with it. Despite carrying the ball just 71 times, Blue averaged 4.8 yards per carry for LSU as the Tigers finished the year 10-3 with an Outback Bowl victory over Iowa.
Both decided it was time to move on to the NFL, as they declared for the NFL draft after the season. Hill was selected in the second round of (55th overall) by Cincinnati. Blue was the Texans sixth round pick (181st overall).
NFL success has followed, with both rookies seeing substantial playing time for their respective teams. The duo has always encouraged each other, and Blue looks forward to meeting up with his old teammate on Sunday.
"We are definitely going to get together after the game," Blue commented.