USC Gamecocks Football

Ryan Hilinski picks up SEC Freshman of the Week after Alabama performance

South Carolina freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski has picked up the first award of his collegiate career, getting named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday after his performance against No. 2 Alabama this weekend.

In his first career SEC start, Hilinski completed 36 of 57 passes for 324 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the Crimson Tide. The Gamecocks lost, 47-23, but Hilinski earned praise from his teammates and coach Will Muschamp for his performance.

Those 57 attempts were the second most in a single game in school history, topped only by Steve Taneyhill, who threw 58 against East Carolina in 1994. His 36 completions also ranks third in school history behind two of Taneyhill’s performances — 39 vs. ECU in 1994 and 38 vs. Mississippi State in 1995.

Of the 20 freshman quarterbacks who have played Nick Saban’s Alabama since 2007, Hilinski had the most attempts and completions and the fourth most yards.

Only one other South Carolina freshman has thrown for more than 300 yards against an SEC opponent — Todd Ellis, who racked up 342 yards against Georgia in 1986.

The last Gamecocks to pick up an SEC Freshman of the Week honor were cornerback Jaycee Horn and offensive lineman Dylan Wonnum, who were recognized in separate weeks in Oct. 2018. The quarterback Hilinski replaced, Jake Bentley, was also named SEC Freshman of the Week in 2016.

Hilinski will make the first road start of his career this Saturday at Missouri, with the Gamecocks and Tigers squaring off at 4 p.m. in a key SEC East matchup for Carolina’s bowl hopes.

Greg Hadley is the beat writer for South Carolina women’s basketball and baseball for GoGamecocks and The State. He also covers football and recruiting.