Indianapolis Colts rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton made his preseason debut this past weekend. Hilton caught 3 passes for 61 yards, but the highlight was a 45 yard touchdown reception from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
“The game is slowing down for me,” Hilton said, via the Indianapolis Star. “So now I can just play fast.”
Hilton was only playing with the first team offense in three wide receiver sets. Darrius Heyward-Bey got the No. 2 receiver slot on the depth chart, but it could be Hilton who is clearly the #2 receiver on this roster.
“I think T.Y. can be really special as a receiver, and I’ve been around a lot of receivers,” Matt Hasselbeck said earlier in training camp. “He’s a guy I see who could be poised to break out.”
Hasselbeck isn’t the only quarterback praising Hilton.
“He’s a phenomenal football player,” Andrew Luck said. “He’s going to make plays … You do sort of say, ‘All right, T.Y.’ He’s going to do something special when he’s on the field. He has that factor to him.”
Hilton however slipped into the third round and to the 92nd pick, mainly due to a quadriceps injury that kept him out of the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine.
“That bothered me,” Hilton said. “I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder. But I think God had a plan for me.”
Veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne is praising the rookie for his attitude and willingness to learn.
“He’s asking questions, taking notes,” Wayne said. “He’s in tune. He wants to get better. Whenever you see that in a young guy, you know he’s on the right path.”
“This is just the beginning,” Hilton said. “I’m just going to keep getting better if I keep working on my game.”