Residents of Central Indiana haven’t had too many kind words about this summers weather, marked by strings of days with temperatures approaching 100 degrees. But for South Florida native and Colts rookie wide receiver TY Hilton, it feels just like home.
“Oh, I’m loving the Miami weather right now. Now in October I understand I might have some issues, but for now it feels like home.”
Hilton grew up in Miami and played collegiately just north of there at Florida International University in Boca Raton. While his time at FIU won’t prepare him for an Indianapolis fall and winter (the furthest north he ever played was in Knoxville, TN) he feels his coaching staff led by head coach Mario Cristobal helped prepare him well for an NFL career.
“We played top colleges and practiced very hard. Our coaching staff was always pushing us. I was a leader there, always the first one on the field and the last one off.”
Hilton knows why the Colts spent a third round pick on him: his speed. Although he expects to contend for playing time at wide receiver, he knows at least in the first part of his career, his main contributions will be on special teams. To that end, Hilton is extremely confident in his ability to make plays.
“I’m a game changer…I’m a humble guy, but at that position (return specialist) you’ve got to have some confidence, a little swagger.”
New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians had another third round speedster from a small school who blossomed into a top flight receiver during his tenure in Pittsburgh, Mike Wallace. Hilton says he’s heard the comparisons between the two. He thinks, however, that Arians will use him more like the Steelers used Antonio Brown, in a more versatile role than simply relying on him to streak past defensive backs using his speed.
He may not be looking forward to the weather here this fall, but one thing he can’t wait to hear is a Lucas Oil Stadium Crowd in full voice.
“I’m ready to get in that dome and see and hear those fans.”
If Hilton’s confidence in his ability to make big plays translates into touchdowns, he’ll get his wish soon enough.
Tags: bruce arians, Florida International, TY Hilton
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