Ryan Hilinski entered an exclusive club on Sunday.
Soon enough, the South Carolina football commit will be playing his senior season at Orange Lutheran, getting ready to move across the country from Southern California and join the Gamecocks. But Sunday, he added something big to his resume.
The title of an Elite 11 passer.
Hilinski (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) made the top group at the Elite 11 after three days of competition in Redondo Beach, California. He battled with fellow top recruits such as Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma commit), Bo Nix (Auburn), Graham Mertz (Wisconsin) and former Gamecocks target Sam Howell (Florida State).
Making that group qualifies him for The Opening in Beaverton, Oregon from June 30-July 3.
He was No. 5 in the ranking of 18 quarterbacks late Saturday, and came out of an evening workout in the No. 3 spot.
When he enrolls, he'll become only the fourth Elite 11 quarterback in South Carolina program history, joining Brandon McIlwain (2015), Stephen Garcia (2006) and Blake Mitchell (2002).
Last season, he threw for 3,749 yards, 33 touchdowns and six interceptions, playing in one of the toughest conferences nationally. That included 538 yards in one game.
He committed to South Carolina in early April, after spreading the ashes of his brother Tyler in Hawaii. Tyler Hilinski was a quarterback at Washington State who took his own life early this year.
“I asked Tyler, ‘Hey Ty, do you think South Carolina’s the place?’” Ryan Hilinski said at the time. “I got a yes from him, and ever since then, I think it’s the right decision.”
Spencer Rattler, Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle, Oklahoma commit
Bo Nix, Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley, Auburn commit
Jayden Daniels, San Bernadino (Calif.) Cajon
Max Duggan, Council Bluffs (Iowa) Lewis Central, TCU commit
Ty Evans, Monument (Colo.) Palmer Ridge, Colorado commit
Brian Maurer, Ocala (Fla.) West Port
Cade McNamara, Reno (Nev.) Damonte Ranch, Michigan commit
Graham Mertz, Mission (Kan.) Blue Valley North, Wisconsin commit
Dylan Morris, Graham (Wash.) Graham-Kapowsin, Washington commit
Ryan Hilinski, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
Sam Howell, Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley, Florida State commit
Taulia Tagovailoa, Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson, Alabama commit