Ryan Hilinski, a 3-star quarterback prospect from California, shared his remarkable outlook about moving forward after the suicide of his older brother. He’s picked up an offer from Georgia and will be someone to watch for UGA recruiting this cycle.
He said he’s “very interested” in playing for Georgia and in the SEC. He made it sound likely that the Bulldogs would crack his official-visit list and that he’s warming to playing in the South.
When asked about his 220 pounds, he had an interesting reply.
“Going to need that to play in the SEC,” Hilinski said.
The 6-foot-4 pro-style passer rates No. 12 nationally on the 247Sports composite. He also has a first-rate view of the quarterback depth chart in Athens.
“I know they only have two kids on scholarship and three walk-ons,” he said. “That’s what they told me. I’d be the third guy on scholarship if I decide to go there. I think it is a great place.”
Hilinksi knows all about those two scholarship quarterbacks: Jake Fromm and Justin Fields. That’s aces for him. He’s even thought about the chances of signing with UGA and maybe not even getting key reps until 2021.
“In my family, I don’t think that competition is a thing that scares us,” he said. “I don’t worry about giving it my best competing with those two and ending up on the sidelines. If you look at all the greats, they had to sit at one point of their life. Maybe not the greatest of the great, but Tom Brady sat behind some guys and learned from some of the best.”
He understands the degree of difficulty at Georgia. Hilinski said Fromm and Fields would be a resource rather than a restriction to his playing career.
“Justin was probably the best [quarterback] in high school last year,” he said. “Jake’s the best in college right now. If I can learn from those guys and get all their pointers and then maybe put that into play maybe when I get a chance in 2021, I think it could be really fortunate for me.”
Ryan Hilinski on Georgia
The Orange (Calif.) Lutheran student said he doesn’t plan to enroll in January but instead will wait until after graduation in summer 2019. Last month, he made a long trek across the South to visit schools and said his time in Athens was one of the best.
“They offered when Coach [Kirby] Smart wasn’t there,” Hilinski said. “Coach Smart was in Mexico when they offered. For them to have the confidence in me and for him to have the confidence in me to extend an offer without seeing me in person was awesome.”
The offer hit the mark.
“I thought it was unbelievable,” he said. “Georgia is Georgia. They are national championship contenders. Having an offer from there was surreal. Especially after visiting. I think that place is going to be good for a while now.”
Assistant coach James Coley was his tour guide for most of the visit and said Coley understands him.
“He’s great,” Hilinski said of Coley. “When I talk to him, I think he really gets it. I can tell from our text messages back and forth that he’s looking out for my best interests.”
He said he spoke with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney for about eight minutes. He said that Chaney called him that “Cali kid” when they met.
“It was awesome,” Hilinski said. “He makes me laugh. That’s for sure.”