T.Y. Hilton made a promise to his new college football coach Mario Cristobal.
The first time the electric Hilton would touch the ball on the collegiate level he would score a touchdown.
So Cristobal sent Hilton out for punt return duties during the second quarter of Florida International’s 2008 season opener against Kansas.
Hilton, true to his word, fielded the punt and went 74 yards the other way for a touchdown on his first collegiate touch.
“The closest Kansas guy was at the 40,” FIU broadcaster and writer Pete Pelegrin told Sports Illustrated. “He could have walked into the end zone he was so fast. He brought such an excitement, game after game.”
With the dynamic abilities of Hilton, FIU made their first career bowl appearances in 2010 and 2011.
“(Hilton) really made people pay attention to football here at FIU,” Pelegrin said. “Football started here in 2002 and when he got here in 2008, there wasn’t much to offer besides Miami.”
“He did help build this place.”
Colts fans have witnessed a few of the “T.Y., Goodbye” touchdown celebrations that FIU fans frequently witnessed.
Despite having a prolific career at FIU, Hilton watched as 13 receivers were chosen before the No. 92 pick in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
“I saw how everybody passed on me and I was waiting for somebody to take that chance,” Hilton said.
“Once the Colts took me, I said, ‘I was going to make everybody pay.’ That’s what I’m doing.”
Hilton has high expectations when it comes to his NFL future and after his rookie campaign who can blame him.
“This is a person and a player who wants to be great and isn’t afraid to say that he wants to be great,” Trotter said of Hilton.
“He told me he wanted to be great and with a quarterback like Andrew Luck, he’s going to have that opportunity.”
Below is the Sports Illustrated video with interviews from Hilton, Pelegrin and Trotter.
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