USC Recruiting

Ryan Hilinski’s plan of attack to reel in top West Coast defender to Gamecocks

South Carolina’s plan, expectations for QB Ryan Hilinski

Quarterback Ryan Hilinski discusses how he thinks he'll fit it with the South Carolina Gamecocks in an interview with Phil Kornblut and the SportsTalk radio show. (247Sports photo)
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Quarterback Ryan Hilinski discusses how he thinks he'll fit it with the South Carolina Gamecocks in an interview with Phil Kornblut and the SportsTalk radio show. (247Sports photo)

Next season, Ryan Hilinski will be trying to hand Chris Steele a loss.

He’s tried to the past few years, but Steele’s St. John Bosco squad has always gotten the better of Hilinski’s Orange Lutheran Lancers.

But this weekend, Hilinski will be trying to convince Steele to join his team.

Steele, a four-star defensive back and the No. 39 player in the 247 Composite rankings for 2019, will be making his official visit this weekend. Hilinski, who committed just after USC’s spring game and is the No. 73 player in those rankings, made sure to be in Columbia, trying to bring him and a few other big names on board.

It’s because they go back and he knows what Steele is about.

“It’s a great relationship,” Hilinski said. “I’ve been playing him since my freshman year. And he’s just one of those guys that’s a competitor. If he loses, he’s gonna be mad. He’s one of those big cornerbacks on the West Coast. I’ve talked to his dad for the first time. I’ve talked to Chris about being a South Carolina Gamecock. And I think it’s a legitimate shot with him, and I think I can try and change his mind.”

USC has a good bit of stiff competition that includes Southern Cal, Oregon, Oklahoma, Florida, LSU and a slew of other top programs. At points, it seems unclear when he might get to Columbia, but now it’s come to pass.

He spoke highly of his first visit, saying the town and USC surprised him.

Now the Gamecocks have the big guns in tow for his second go-round.

“He’s a guy who’s literally 20 miles away from me,” Hilinski said. “And I committed to South Carolina for a reason … And I’m going to tell him I left because South Carolina is a place where you can get early playing time if you want to and it’s in the SEC and what a special place that South Carolina is. It’s a pretty special place, so I want him to be on board with me.”

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