04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Colts picks: 3/92 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, 5-9, 183, Florida International...Speedster who is expected to see playing time as a receiver as well as a punt and kick returner. Impressed Colts special teams coaches with his ability to break big plays. COULD SURPRISE: Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton: An undersized wide receiver who has 4.3 speed. Hilton can return punts and kickoffs as well as play slot receiver as a deep threat. - The Sports Xchange
Eugene "T.Y." Hilton's staying at home in Miami, instead of leaving for schools like Ole Miss and Florida, is just one example of why limiting scholarships has allowed parity to add even more excitement to college football. The former All-Dade County high school selection in football and basketball did not take long to show why his athleticism was coveted by programs of many sizes and statures.
Hilton was named Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, first-team all-conference as a returner and all-purpose player, and Freshman All-American as a return specialist by multiple organizations after a strong first season at FIU (41-1,013-7 receiving, 14-43-2 rushing, 36-843-1 kick returns, 18-266-1 punt returns). He was bothered by nagging injuries as a sophomore but still led the team in receiving (57-632-5) and kickoff returns (22-633-1), then returned to form strong enough to be named Sun Belt Player of the Year for his play in 2010 (59-848-5 rec, 30-282-4 rush, 29-833-2 KR, 20-126 PR), helping FIU win its first Sun Belt title.
The electric Hilton scored on his first touch of the season in both 2008 and 2009, and his play in 2010 only cemented his status as one of the best slot receiver/return specialist prospects in the draft. In fact, he could be the highest-drafted player in FIU's short program history. But even if his lack of size doesn't allow him to beat former FIU DE/OLB Antwan Barnes' fourth-round selection (#134, 2007, Baltimore), his speed, hands, toughness make him quite likely to hear his name called well before the 222nd pick, where Tampa Bay selected his former teammate and son of his godparents, defensive back Anthony Gaitor, in the 2011 draft.
Positives: Combines speed, balance, quickness, vision and crisp cuts to leave defensive backs and linebackers in the dust. Very good hands, accepts the ball fluidly on most throws and is ready to make a play afterwards. Makes catches in traffic, even going up over taller defenders with vertical and toughness. Flashes the foot quickness and toughness to handle slot duties at the next level and lines up all over the field. Dangerous with the ball in his hands.
Negatives: Rarely got challenged in press coverage in college, and he will need to prove he can shake and make the crisp cut to free himself from the jam. NFL defenders may be able to knock him off his route because of his slight frame.