Mike Bobo shares how Ryan Hilinski responded after Collin Hill won South Carolina's QB competition
If you missed the news from South Carolina’s training camp, the Gamecocks have named Collin Hill the team’s starting quarterback heading into the season opener against Tennessee next Saturday.
Hill, a graduate transfer from Colorado State, beat out sophomore Ryan Hilinski for the job.
“I thought both guys had outstanding training camps. We can win with both guys, bottom line,” Will Muschamp said after announcing Hill as South Carolina’s starter on Thursday. “Ryan’s had a really good camp. Obviously, there was an advantage for Collin playing for Coach (Mike) Bobo before.”
The decision to start Hill has many wondering what that means for Hilinski moving forward. The California native signed with the Gamecocks after rating as one of the top high school quarterback prospects in the nation in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
Following Jake Bentley’s season-ending injury in the 2019 opener, Hilinski started the remaining 11 games for South Carolina during his true freshman season. While flashing promise at times, inconsistent would be the best way to describe Hilinski’s performance after being forced into action early during his college career.
According to South Carolina offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, Hilinski responded to learning Hill had won the starting role in Columbia like a pro.
“He didn’t take a day off of practice and I wouldn’t expect him to take a day off of practice,” Bobo said of Hilinski on Friday. “Obviously, everybody in that room wants to be the starter and there’s good competition but I think we’ve fostered good relationships in that room and everybody knows the ultimate goal is for South Carolina to win.
“We talked about some things he has done to improve and how he’s improved as a football player and what he’s got to keep doing to be a consistent football player. I like where he’s at. He had two really good practices and I’ve been pleased with his attitude.”
That’s good news for the Gamecocks as there’s a good chance South Carolina will need Hilinski on the field at some point this season. Heading into a season with so much uncertainty, every reserve in the SEC needs to be ready and willing to go because their number could be called in an instant thanks to COVID.