• Ben Hall

South Carolina QB Ryan Hilinski is Ready to Make Many People Proud in His Freshman Year

South Carolina starts their season in a little over a week when they will take on North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

This will be the first college game of freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski. Although Will Muschamp has not yet named who the backup quarterback will be behind Jake Bentley, he has said that Hilinski has been “very impressive”.

It’s not common for a freshman quarterback to come to an SEC school and be an immediate starter. Hilinski understands that and is ready to do whatever the team needs him to. 

“Whatever impact I have, I’ll do what’s best for the team and whatever helps us win games!” Hilinki said when asked if he thinks he can make an immediate impact for the Gamecocks.

Hilinski was a four star recruit from Orange, California. He is honored to be able to represent his hometown with everything he has done with football.

“It’s an honor and something I take pride in,” Hilinski said. “Many great athletes come from that area and I’m fortunate enough to be one of those athletes!”

Hilinski chose the Gamecocks over Arizona, Texas A&M, Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon, Georgia, and many other schools.

”They treated myself and my family as they would treat their own family,” Hilinski said when asked why South Carolina was different then all the other schools that he was recruited by. “They made us feel welcome and always happy whenever we were on campus or away from campus! That was the big difference.”

He attended Orange Lutheran High School and was the starting quarterback there since his sophomore year. 

While Hilinski was in high school, he participated in the Nike Opening Regional in Costa Mesa, California. After winning the MVP award of the quarterbacks, he was invited to the Elite 11. The Elite 11 is an event run by the Nike Opening, where the best quarterbacks all around the country come to Redondo Beach, California and compete. Hilinski impressed a lot of people at the event and learned a lot from the Nike Opening events he participated in.

“It helped me a lot! I was able to compete against the Nation’s best and that only enhanced the way I play the game day in and day out,” Hilinski said when asked about how the Nike Opening Events he participated in helped him.

Following his senior season of high school, Hilinski was able to play in the All-American Bowl.

“It was a true honor,” Hilinski said when asked what it meant to him to be able to play in the game. “Something I had been waiting for ever since I was a little kid! Both of my brothers weren’t able to participate so I did it for them!”

Both of Spencer’s brothers played college football as well. His oldest brother, Kelly Hilinski, played football at Columbia and Weber State. The middle aged brother, the late Tyler Hilinski, was the starting quarterback at Washington State. He killed himself in January 2018 and was posthumously diagnosed with C.T.E. which is a condition often found in football players who take frequent hits to the head.

Although this has very tough for Ryan to get through, he knows that Tyler would want him to be all bought into football and would not want him to stop.

On August 31st, Ryan Hilinski will be ready to do whatever he needs for his team to take down the Tar Heels. He will be ready to make everyone proud and keep moving forward honoring Tyler.

Hilinski is the Gamecocks quarterback of the future. He will be a name to keep an eye on over the next couple of years.

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