Former South Carolina starting quarterback Ryan Hilinski announced Tuesday that he will continue his playing career as a member of the Northwestern Wildcats. Hilinski, a sophomore, will join a program that will be without recently-departed senior Peyton Ramsey. Hilinski announced his decision with a post on Twitter.
"Life's journey has unexpected peaks and valleys," he wrote. "I am thankful for every step I've been able to take. I am grateful for my amazing family and all of those that have helped me along the way as I chase my dreams. I'm excited to begin this next chapter at Northwestern University. Thank you coach [Pat] Fitzgerald and coach [Mike] Bajakian for giving me this incredible opportunity! Go cats!"
Hilinski started for the Gamecocks as a true freshman in 2019. He completed 58.1% of his passes (236 of 406) for 2,357 yards, threw for 11 touchdowns and had five interceptions in 11 games, including 324 yards against Alabama in his second career game.
He lost a 2020 offseason battle with Colorado State transfer Collin Hill for the starting job under then-offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. True freshman Luke Doty got snaps behind Hill, which made it clear that Hilinski's career trajectory with the Gamecocks dramatically changed since he signed as the No. 64 overall prospect in the Class of 2019. He appeared in just two games in 2020, which won't count as a year of eligibility due to the blanket waiver the NCAA passed this year.
He will join a program that has high expectations after two Big Ten West championships over the last three seasons.