Seventy-nine days ago at the Beef O'Brady's Bowl was the last time T.Y. Hilton ran. So you could understand why Hilton (above running the 40) was so eager to run the 40 at FIU Pro Day Friday morning at FIU Stadium.
"I've been itching to run for a long time now," said Hilton as he loosened up in the end zone at FIU Stadium Friday. "I've been working out twice a day just about every day. My quad is 100 percent and I'm ready to go show the NFL teams what I can do."
Hilton (left) certainly showed all 32 NFL teams represented at FIU Pro Day what he can do by running an impressive 4.34 in the 40. Hilton also caught 19 of the 20 passes thrown by former FIU quarterback Wesley Carroll, who also had a good day running a 4.7, 40, jumping a 32 and throwing some sharp passes.
Before Hilton, Carroll and seven other FIU teammates performed on the field, they lifted weights, jumped and were measured by the scouts inside the FIU weight room. Hilton, who is at 183 pounds, benched press 225 pounds seven times and jumped a 36, which equaled Robert Griffin III's jump at the NFL Combine last month. Griffin is likely the No. 2 overall pick in next month's NFL Draft. Hilton said he became good friends with Griffin at the Combine and followed him throughout the three days in Indianapolis.
An NFC scout said afterward that Hilton showed good hands catching the ball and was pretty sharp in his route running. A scout from an AFC team remarked how quick Hilton was running the 40, especially coming off the quad injury he sustained at the bowl game.
Among those in attendance Friday at FIU Stadium were former FIU football stars Antwan Barnes and Anthony Gaitor (photo below, left to right) now with the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL, respectively. Both players encouraged the nine Panthers during Pro Day. Barnes even joked with Hilton telling him, "I came to see you run a 4.8 in the 40" to which Hilton responded "watch this" and ran a 4.34.
There were four teams with multiple scouts on hand Friday: Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans. Some of the notable NFL personnel on hand included new Tampa Bay Buccaneers special assistant to the head coach Butch Davis, former Buffalo Bills quarterback and current Cardinals receivers coach Frank Reich, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden (Jon's brother) and former Philadelphia Eagles running back Ricky Watters.
After his workout Friday, Hilton privately met with Reich and Cardinals scouts. Hilton later met with the San Francisco 49ers and finally with the Dolphins. Yeah, a Dolphins offense of quarterback Peyton Manning with Brandon Marshall and Reggie Wayne out wide and Hilton in the slot would be something to see.
Before Pro Day, Hilton already had private meetings lined up with the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs later this month. In addition to those three teams Hilton is now scheduled to visit the Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, Cardinals and 49ers again, New England Patriots and the Dolphins again.