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Quarterback Ryan Hilinski enters transfer portal

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This one’s a shame.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina backup quarterback Ryan Hilinski has thrown his name into the transfer portal, indicating a move from South Carolina may be imminent for the one-time bluechip prospect.

The sophomore Hilinski, who was a 4-star recruit and a rare commitment hailing from the West Coast, completed 58% of his passes for 2,357 yards and 11 touchdowns against five interceptions in his first season with the Gamecocks, which got fans fired up about his potential to be the program’s quarterback of the future. However, he lost the starting job to fifth-year transfer Collin Hill when Mike Bobo came on as offensive coordinator from Colorado State, and saw his playing time further diminish with the rise of freshman Luke Doty, who ended up logging the majority of the second-team snaps in 2020.

While Hilinski is in the portal, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll leave the Gamecocks — he can withdraw his name at any time. The writing on the wall, however, doesn’t seem to indicate he’ll stay in Columbia, especially with the presumptive entrance of current commitment Gunner Stockton in 2021, who ironically is probably the program’s most-hyped quarterback prospect since Hilinski himself.

Hilinski would also leave behind a meaningful off-field legacy, as his family’s Hilinski’s Hope foundation works to support mental health initiatives for college athletes after his older brother, Tyler — who played quarterback at Washington State — took his life a couple years ago.

If Hilinski does indeed transfer elsewhere, I wish him all the best. Many Gamecock fans don’t feel he was given a fair shake to get on the field in 2020, and given the promise he showed in 2019, he’ll always be a bit of a what-if for South Carolina. Good luck to him with whatever he decides.