South Carolina recruiting: How Kurt Roper found his latest quarterback target

South Carolina football

Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting.

Familiar name

While doing some homework on quarterbacks for the 2019 recruiting class, South Carolina co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper discovered a familiar-looking surname: Hilinski.

Roper first discovered the name a few years ago when he was recruiting Kelly Hilinski to Duke out of Sherman Oaks, near Los Angeles.

Now, the Gamecocks assistant is after his younger brother, Ryan Hilinski, a 6-foot-3.5, 218-pound prospect from Orange Lutheran (Calif.) High School. It’s a name South Carolina fans should become familiar with, because Roper offered him a scholarship on Sunday.

“I know [Roper’s] a great guy, superprestigious QB coach with great insight and I’d love to play for him,” Hilinski said. “We’ve already built a great relationship, so it’s going to be fun to see how it goes down the road.”

South Carolina recruiting-Ryan Hilinski
South Carolina offered 2019 quarterback Ryan Hilinski on Sunday. (

Learning on the fly

Before South Carolina offered him over the weekend, Hilinski didn’t know much about the Gamecocks, beyond some of the basics.

“They’ve been good in past years and I know they’re just bringing up and brewing something special over there,” Hilinski said. “Obviously, the SEC is a conference I’d love to play in. They prepare quarterbacks for the next level and I’d love to come out for a visit in the fall, this fall, and see a game.

“I’d love to get a feel for the town and stuff like that.”

It was late last week when Hilinski first heard from Roper. Because of the interest and potential for an offer, Hilinski wanted to watch South Carolina’s season opener against North Carolina State.

“It was a little intense,” he said. “It came down to the last couple of seconds, but the defense stood up and [Jake] Bentley had a really good game. It was really good to see how successful the quarterback was in the offense.”

Regional connection

Hilinski hasn’t been to the state of South Carolina, but he was recently in Summerfield, N.C., to help his aunt move. He hopes to return to the area in the not-too-distant future to check out a South Carolina game.

“That’s probably one of the main ones, but we don’t know yet,” Hilinski said. “Other than that, I don’t really have any exact games set up.”

Hilinski camped at Boston College this past summer and landed an offer from the Eagles. Fresno State and Stanford are among the other campuses he’s been to, in addition to a “couple of West Coast schools.”

“They’ve all been amazing,” Hilinski said. “I have great relationships with them as well, but I just really want to get out to South Carolina. I think it would be a really good idea to get out there.”

            Carolina recruiting-Kurt Roper
South Carolina co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper saw his starter throw 3 touchdown passes on Saturday. (Hale McGranahan/SEC Country)

Some background

Growing up, Hilinski watched a lot of USC football, the one that’s about five minutes away from his home, but there are no strong ties to the Trojans.

“My main goal was just to play D-1 football,” said Hilinski, adding that he aspires to also play in the NFL.

“I just want to go to the place that gives me the best opportunity to play football,” he said.

As far as quarterbacks go, Tom Brady is his favorite.

“I know he has all these stats and MVPs and all that stuff, but my main [thing] that impresses me when I watch him is that he’s a quarterback that wins,” Hilinski said.

How about an up-and-comer, someone who he thinks is one the verge of becoming a household name?

“Especially after watching the South Carolina game, Bentley. Obviously, I’ve never really heard of him, maybe that’s just because I’m a West Coast guy,” Hilinski said. “But after watching the game, he managed the game so well. It just got me hyped, and I think he’s going to be a big name in this upcoming season and the years to follow.”

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Spurs Up Surveillance recruiting notebook right here.

The post South Carolina recruiting: How Kurt Roper found his latest quarterback target appeared first on SEC Country.

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