After Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, former FIU and current Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton will be halfway through his NFL rookie season. I spoke with T.Y. earlier this week for a segment on the FIU Sports Radio Network pregame show on Saturday before the broadcast of the FIU/South Alabama game. Below is what T.Y. had to say. You can hear the full interview with T.Y. and catch the call of Saturday's game with myself and Jerry del Castillo beginning at 3 p.m. by CLICKING HERE.
PP: How has your rookie season gone so far? The Colts are 4-3 right in the thick of the AFC playoff race as you take on the Miami Dolphins Sunday.
T.Y.: The season is going good. Everything happens for a reason. Right now we are having fun and playing football as a team.
PP: I'm sure it's a little different living in Indianapolis compared to Miami. How are you liking it?
T.Y.: It is blazing cold. It's in the 40s right now. It is way different from Miami [laughs].
PP: Seven games into your NFL career, what has been the biggest adjustment for you from college football to pro football?
T.Y.: The biggest adjustment has been that this is my job now. There is no more school, everything else is out of the way. I can concentrate on playing football. It's football first and football only.
PP: I'm sure you have gotten calls from home this week because of the opponent being the Dolphins. Who is the family rooting for on Sunday?
T.Y.: Oh yeah. My uncle and my family are big fans of the Dolphins. I texted them, "Who are you going to go for this weekend?" They all said, "The Colts", but I know they will be cheering for the Dolphins as well.
PP: What have you learned from playing with [Colts rookie quarterback] Andrew Luck?
T.Y.: We trust each other a lot. He looks at me and tells me what he sees out on the field. I tell him what I see out there. As rookies we are growing together. We came into the league together. We're learning everyday together. We go out a lot and talk and get away from football. We're getting to know each other and get that vibe with one another and continue to grow as men. He's a great quarterback. He has a great arm, phenomenal accuracy.
PP: You must feel fortunate to have a mentor at receiver like Reggie Wayne in your first year in the NFL?
T.Y.: I'm extremely happy. Reggie Wayne is a great guy. I pick his brain everyday in practice, in the meeting room and try to learn as much as I can from him because there are not too many things that he doesn't know. It means a lot to me to have him to learn from.
PP: We've traded texts throughout this season and I know you have been following your alma mater, FIU. What are your thoughts on FIU's season?
T.Y.: I didn't expect this type of season. There are a lot of great guys on that football team with 10 starters on defense back and Jake Medlock at quarterback. I know they have dealt with a lot of injuries, but I also know that coach Cristobal is going to get this turned around. They just got to keep fighting and keep believing. Take that 1-0 mentality in the last three games of the season and finish this season with a bang.
PP: In these last few games we have seen the emergence of receivers Glenn Coleman and Willis Wright. I spoke with each of them in recent days and they both credit you for part of their development, especially the mental side of the game. What did you tell these guys?
T.Y.: I told them that their time will come. I know when I played at FIU I was the focal point of defenses and I saw a lot of double and triple teams, but there will be times when you get one-on-one coverage. I told them just be patient. When you are patient a lot of great things happen. I would talk to Willis Wright every day and I would tell him that he will have his big games. Until then, do whatever you can do to help the team win. I see that lately Willis and Glenn have been putting up great numbers. I see Wayne Times doing the things that he can do. All the receivers have been getting better.