|No. 13 Indianapolis Colts|
|Wide receiver / Punt returner|
|Date of birth:November 14, 1989|
|Place of birth: Miami, Florida|
|High School: Miami Springs (FL)|
|Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)||Weight: 183 lb (83 kg)|
|College: Florida International|
|NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 3 / Pick: 92|
|Debuted in 2012 for the Indianapolis Colts|
|Roster status: Active|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012|
Eugene "T. Y." Hilton (born November 14, 1989) is an American football wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Florida International University before getting drafted 92nd overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Early years[edit | edit source]
Hilton was born to Tyrone and Cora Hilton. He attended Miami Springs High School and was a two-sport star (basketball and football) for the Golden Hawks. He was selected by the Miami Herald as a First Team All-Dade player in football in his senior year, while also selected as a First Team All-Dade in basketball both his junior and senior years. He averaged 18.7 yards per catch as a senior, with 785 receiving yards accumulated in the season to go with 16 touchdowns. He was also successful as a kick returner, returning four kicks for touchdowns in 10 games.
Hilton committed to Florida International University on February 6, 2008. He was scouted by the University of Mississippi, West Virginia University, the University of Florida and FIU. He made the choice to go to FIU over West Virginia the night before National Signing Day, when his son chose FIU eight times in a row when he put both an FIU and West Virginia hat in front of him. 
College career[edit | edit source]
Hilton was a starter under Mario Cristobal in every year of his enrollment at FIU. In 2008, he returned a punt for a touchdown in his collegiate debut against Kansas on his first touch of the game. Later that year, in a game against Arkansas State, he threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Junior Mertile late in the game after he fumbled the hand off in a reverse play. This play became known in FIU as "The Hilton Heave". He was responsible for 12 touchdowns in his freshman year, scoring them all in five different ways, the first player in the program to do so (7 receiving touchdowns, 2 rushing touchdowns, 1 throwing touchdown, 1 punt return, 1 kickoff return). He also set the FIU single season record for total receiving yards (41 receptions for 1,013 yards), average yards per reception (24.7 yards per reception) and all-purpose yardage (2,162). He finished his freshman season ranked third in the nation in all-purpose yardage per game, with an average of 180.25 yards per contest and consequently named Sun Belt Freshman Player of the Year.
Foreshadowing the start of FIU's 2009 campaign against Alabama, Nick Saban referred to Hilton as "a better offensive player than anybody [from Virginia Tech] that we played against last week". In 2009, Hilton's first touch of the season was a 96-yard kickoff return against Alabama. He paced the team with 57 catches for 632 yards and 5 touchdowns, as well as returning 22 kickoffs for 633 yards, despite struggling with an injured knee picked up in the fifth game of the season against Western Kentucky. He finished his sophomore season with 1,301 all-purpose yards.
In 2010, Hilton got off to a slow start, scoring no touchdowns in the first four games of the season, before returning home to play WKU and scoring his first touchdown of the season, a rushing touchdown. After a mid-season loss to FAU, Hilton came back strong the next game against Louisiana-Monroe, scoring 4 separate touchdowns, the first coming on a 95-yard kick return while the others were two passes from Wesley Carroll and the last a rushing touchdown. Later in the season against Troy, Hilton put up 158 yards rushing in 6 carries with two rushing touchdowns on his way to helping set a school record of 448 total rushing yards in a game.
In his school's first bowl game appearance in the 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Hilton returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the second half of the game against Toledo. He was also instrumental in a late hook and lateral play on a 4th-and-17 situation, helping his team get the first down and keeping them alive to eventually set up the winning field goal. He was named the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl MVP for his efforts in helping his team beat Toledo, 34-32. At the end of his junior season, Hilton was honored as Sun Belt Player of the Year, as well as being named to the All-Sun Belt Conference First Team at the wide receiver and return specialist positions. He finished his junior season with 2,089 all-purpose yards, 848 of them on receptions over 59 catches and 282 rushing yards over 30 carries, a personal best.
In 2011, Hilton got off to a hot start, putting up a school record 283 all-purpose yards in FIU's rout of North Texas. A week later, Hilton was instrumental in FIU's 24-17 upset of Louisville, with 74 and 83 yard catches for touchdowns. He finished that game with 7 receptions for 201 yards, breaking his school and personal single game receiving records.
Professional career[edit | edit source]
2012 NFL Draft[edit | edit source]
Indianapolis Colts[edit | edit source]
In late May, 2012 Hilton signed a contract with Indianapolis worth $2.642 million over 4 years. Hilton will be utilized during his rookie season as a punt/kick returner and as a receiver in the slot. Hilton will bring well needed speed and will add depth to the Indianapolis receiving corps. Hilton was the first of Indianapolis's 2012 1st-3rd round picks to be signed. During a Week 12 game against the Buffalo Bills, Hilton returned a 75-yard punt return and later caught an 8-yard touchdown pass. The two scores proved to be the difference in a 20-13 victory.
References[edit | edit source]
- Clark, Kevin (October 10, 2008), "Golden Panthers can thank Hilton's son", The Sun Sentinel
- Conn, Jordan (September 9, 2011), "Game-breaking speedster Hilton putting upstart FIU on the map", SI.com INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL
- Beasley, Adam (September 2, 2010), "Golden Panthers receiver T.Y. Hilton starts from scratch", The Miami Herald
- FIUSports.com (November 8, 2008), "Fourth-Quarter Comeback Lifts FIU Over Arkansas State", FIUSports.com
- FIUSports.com (December 20, 2010), "Top-10 Football Moments: No. 5 - Panthers Close Out OB in Style", FIUSports.com
- FIUSports.com (December 9, 2008), "T.Y. Hilton Named SBC Freshman of the Year", FIUSports.com
- Pelegrin, Pete (September 7, 2009), "Nick Saban On Your FIU Panthers", Miami Herald: FIU Golden Panthers Prowl
- Haro, Martin (September 15, 2009), "T.Y. Hilton earns Kickoff Returner Performer of the Week, FIU falls to Alabama", news.FIU.edu
- Adelson, Andrea (December 8, 2010), "T.Y. Hilton Headlines All-Sun Belt Awards", ESPN College Football Nation Blog
- Associated Press (September 1, 2011), "Hilton leads FIU over North Texas 41-16", The Miami Herald
- Neal, David J. (September 10, 2011), "Hilton stars in FIU's win over Louisville", The Miami Herald
- Associated Press (September 9, 2011), "T.Y. Hilton's 201 receiving yards help FIU upset Louisville", ESPN College Football
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