Film Study: LSU Football Receiver Commit Chris Hilton Carries on Theme of Electrifying Speed in 2021 Class

Brian Smith

One of the fastest players in the country, Chris Hilton will bring big-play ability to Baton Rouge.

Located just about 19 miles north of Baton Rouge, the town of Zachary currently has one of the most dynamic playmakers in the country. Hilton is athletic enough to play several positions, but he’s destined to play wide receiver because of his excellent hands and pure speed. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound prospect will create many problems for defenses.

Hilton’s consistent route running is the first thing to note. Even if he’s double covered, Hilton does not slow down, nor does he change his route. Hilton keeps on going. His speed will generally take care of the rest.

During this first clip, Hilton runs a post route. The defense uses a defender underneath Hilton, and the safety is over the top. The safety on the opposite side of the field even came over. It did not matter.

Hilton burst off the line, made a sharp cut just past the cornerback, split the safety to his side of the field, caught the ball and glided into the end zone before the backside safety could assist. Many wide receivers give up on plays where they are covered like that. It’s a great sign that Hilton just does his job and ran the route properly.

When discussing pure speed, the best route to judge a wide receiver’s top gear is the nine route, or also called the go route. Hilton once again burst off the line, taking seven steps before catching up with the cornerback and running right by him.

Hilton’s natural gate can be seen in this play. His smooth stride really opened up and allowed him to blow by the cornerback. The quarterback underthrew Hilton just a little bit or it would have been a touchdown.

Great adjustment to slow down and make an over the shoulder catch before going out of bounds. This play causes a defense to think twice about taking away short passes and creates bigger windows for the quarterback when throwing passes when Hilton runs patterns like curls, comebacks, and slants.

One of Hilton’s best attributes would be making defenders miss after  the catch. This play shows Hilton’s speed as he quickly makes a defender miss. It’s a slant where the cornerback gave Hilton quite a bit of cushion, and there was no inside help.

Hilton took advantage and caught a great pass in stride. After the catch, that’s when Hilton’s athleticism came into the equation. Hilton used a nice spin move that generated several more yards. This is the type of intelligent play that can turn a 25-yard gain into a long touchdown. Remember several of Joe Burrow's intermediate throws ending up being 40 or 50-yard gains?

While Burrow's fantastic accuracy created many of those plays, it was an incredibly talented LSU wide receiver core that made the extra yards. That’s the type of athlete Hilton truly is. He’s an elite talent with a high ceiling.

Hilton can also utilize that skill set to quickly get away from the cornerback. His stutter step and change of direction during this next play quickly separated himself from the cornerback. At that point, he ran his route unevaded and made a nice catch.

Many high school wide receivers struggle with separating at the line of scrimmage. Further, it creates issues when entering the SEC due to the level of cornerback play at schools like Georgia, Auburn, Florida, Alabama and Texas A&M.

Hilton will need to gain strength to defeat press coverage but he already displays a good sense of how to release from the line of scrimmage.

Here’s a look at Hilton’s entire junior highlight film. It was difficult picking only four plays for the clips above, and this footage will show why that was the case.

For the class of 2021, few wide receivers possess the physical talent of Hilton. His sheer speed, quickness, natural hands, and instinctive playmaking ability make him a potential gamebreaker for the LSU offense. Now, combine him with the other talented LSU offensive skill position talent.

Think about lining up Hilton next to 2020 LSU signees Arik Gilbert and Kayshon Boutte. Who’s the defense going to double cover? That’s an incredible amount of speed and athleticism. LSU’s future signal callers will be provided with a plethora of options moving forward.