Ryan Hilinski tweeted it out on Sunday evening, he feels like he’s home.
South Carolina’s four-star quarterback signee arrived in Columbia on Sunday night, capping a whirlwind week in San Antonio, Texas at the All-American Bowl. He will now launch into moving into a new house and officially enrolling at USC on Tuesday.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Hilinski said Sunday night. “I’ve got a lot of outreach of people just saying, ‘Welcome home’ and stuff. It kind of hit us on the ride here that we’re going to be here for a while and I’m not going to travel for a minute.
“It feels really good to be here.”
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His mom was with him on the trip, and they got to see their new house Monday. He joked they tried to get Bojangles after their flight landed (his name on Twitter is Big Bo), but they settled for Wendy’s. He’ll start classes and official workouts next Monday.
The all-star game was a chance to test his skills against and alongside other top recruits, something he relished.
“It was awesome,” Hilinski said. “I can honestly say it was the best week of football of my life.
“It was just fun because we got to compete against the best, but we also had fun doing it. It was really cool to see everyone from other states and how humble they were and how excited they were to be a part of the experience.”
He roomed with Arizona commit Grant Gunnell.
After moving into his dorm on Monday, he went over to Colonial Life Arena and took in South Carolina’s upset of Mississippi State.
Hilinski’s parents and brother will move to Columbia from California permanently, and his brother, Kelly, hopes to go to medical school at South Carolina.
Hilinski committed to South Carolina in April, and his pledge survived big offers from the likes of Southern Cal, Ohio State and LSU. His last high school season featured some on-field challenges, but he threw for 2,771 yards, 29 scores and 10 interceptions with a near nonexistent running game, a lack of top receivers and offensive linemen dropping like flies, as well as a brutal schedule that featured four games against teams ranked in the top 10 nationally.
His family has endured a lot over the past year with the suicide of his brother Tyler, a quarterback at Washington State, which made national news. That’s part of the reason they chose to move with Ryan across the country. The family has a foundation, Hilinski’s Hope, to raise awareness about mental health issues with athletes.