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Stripe Hype Exclusive Interview: Justin Hilton

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While preparing for training camp and the chance to live out his NFL dreams, Bengals wide receiver Justin Hilton took the time to do an interview for us here at Stripe Hype. Hilton grew up in the sunshine state, where he attended Harmony High School in Saint Cloud, Florida. After graduating, he would spend the next two years at Butte Community College in Oroville, California and was named Butte College’s Wide Receiver of the Year in 2008, as he caught 25 passes for 620 yards and eight TDs, and helped lead his team to a National Junior College Championship.

He then made his way to Indiana State. As a senior, Hilton led Indiana State in catches with 32, and receiving yards with 540, as well as hauling in 4 TDs. In his two years at ISU, he generated 72 receptions for 1,224 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. The Bengals showed early interest in Hilton, as they had him in for a pre-draft workout prior to the 2012 NFL Draft. After going undrafted, he immediately signed a contract with the Bengals and will now have the opportunity to compete for a roster spot with the team going into the 2012 season.

What was your honest feeling and reaction to receiving the call that the Bengals were ready to sign you?

"I was elated to hear from the Bengals and it was honestly a dream come true when it comes to talking about signing an NFL contract with the organization."

Were other teams calling trying to sign you?

"Yes there were two others that my agent spoke to while I was on the phone with Cincy but I wanted to make my decision and come there (Cincy). It all happened really fast."

Describe your football life. When did you start? How has your view of the game changed as you’ve gotten older.

"I grew up a basketball guy and didn’t play football until my soph year of HS … But when I started playing football it came easier to me and there was nothing better than the game as a whole to me. Basketball was my first love and she was great to me but I married the game of football after that. I would say my view has pretty much stayed the same as I go out and just have fun honestly … I have worked very hard at the game but you still have to enjoy it and love doing what you do. When football is no longer fun to me is when I’ll stop playing. I don’t plan on that anytime soon. I’m having a blast!"