It was kind of Pat Fitzgerald to leave January 20 to Joe Biden and get much-awaited Northwestern football news out of the way.
After fans caught wind that NU could be getting a new transfer quarterback last week, South Carolina signal caller Ryan Hilinski officially announced Tuesday night that he will be transferring to Northwestern. The sophomore, with the extra year granted by the NCAA to all players, will have three seasons of eligibility left. He’s likely the odds-on favorite to win the starting job this fall.
I couldn’t be more excited and grateful for this opportunity. Go Cats! pic.twitter.com/OX1g0CNzEK— Ryan Hilinski (@ryan_hilinski) January 19, 2021
Hilinski played just two games this past season after starting 11 games as a true freshman in 2019, posting a 4-7 record. During his first year in Columbia, he passed for 2,357 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He set school freshman records for pass completions and attempts as well as a program record for 180 consecutive passes without an interception.
This past season, he completed just 4-of-6 attempts for 34 yards, as Collin Hill and Luke Doty took most of the snaps under center. Hill followed South Carolina offensive coordinator Mike Bobo from Colorado State last year.
The California native is considered a pro-style quarterback, known for his strong arm and football IQ. He was graded a four-star recruit out of high school and made a strong connection with Northwestern during his initial recruitment before eventually opting to commit to South Carolina.
His family created the Hilinski’s Hope Foundation for college athletes’ mental health awareness in honor of his older brother Tyler, a former Washington State quarterback, who committed suicide in 2018.
With Peyton Ramsey declared for the draft and TJ Green moving onto the next chapter of his life, Northwestern’s quarterback room will experience change as Hilinski competes with Hunter Johnson and Andrew Marty for the starting role this offseason.