RECRUITING CORNER

Gamecocks land California quarterback Hilinski

BY PHIL KORNBLUT
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 4/10/18

Quarterback Ryan Hilinski (6-feet-3-inches, 203 pounds) of Orange, Calif., committed to the University of South Carolina football program last week over Georgia, Mississippi, Texas A&M, Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon. Hilinski and his family, …

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RECRUITING CORNER

Gamecocks land California quarterback Hilinski

Posted

Quarterback Ryan Hilinski (6-feet-3-inches, 203 pounds) of Orange, Calif., committed to the University of South Carolina football program last week over Georgia, Mississippi, Texas A&M, Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon. Hilinski and his family, which plans to move with him to South Carolina, made an unofficial visit to USC for the spring game on March 31. That was their second visit to see USC up close, and that was enough to convince them USC was the right place.

"That weekend pretty much summed it up for me," Hilinski said. "I feel comfortable. They took care of myself and my family and I couldn't be more happy.

"I just feel comfortable and got a feeling today (on Tuesday, April 2) after I spread my brother's ashes."

Hilinski's brother was former Washington State QB Ty Hilinski. He committed suicide in January and while on vacation in Hawaii, the family released his ashes into the Pacific Ocean.

Ryan is regarded by analysts as one of the top pro-style passing QBs in the country and was selected for the Elite 11 Finals. Last season, he passed for 3,767 yards and 33 touchdowns.

"If I see the receiver open, the ball is going to get there as soon as he's open," Hilinski said. "He (USC QB coach Dan Werner) loves my charisma as a quarterback, loves my leadership is what he told me. He could tell by talking to people at my school that I'm a great kid which is probably the biggest thing I pride myself on besides football.

"He thinks I can run a little bit, which I can. A lot of people don't think I can, so I think he likes that. It's a secret weapon."

Hilinski is USC's first QB commitment for the 2019 recruiting class and the ninth overall commitment.

USC missed on another QB last week when Garrett Shrader of Charlotte committed to Mississippi State.

USC offered '19 QB Jacob Zeno of San Antonio. He also has offers from Arizona, Arkansas, UGA, Baylor, Texas Tech, Boston College, Florida, Missouri and others.

Wide receiver Kyle Ford (6-3, 210) of Orange is the favorite WR of Hilinski. USC offered Ford not long after Hilinski committed and he plans to take a closer look.

USC offensive line coach Eric Wolford has worked his way onto the short list with OL Dontae Lucas (6-3 323) of Miami. Lucas plays guard and has enrolled at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., for this season. Lucas has not yet visited USC, but he plans to this summer. Lucas has visited Miami, Alabama, Florida State and Florida. They are on his short list along with Mizzou, Oregon and Louisville. He will sign and graduate early.

USC recently offered OL Anthony Whigan (6-5, 300) of Lackawana Junior College in Pennsylvania. "They are definitely a top one on my list," Whigan said. "That's SEC (Southeastern Conference). That's big time football."

Whigan has not visited USC but plans to in May or June. Whigan also holds offers from Maryland, Nebraska, Louisville, Pitt, Penn State, North Carolina State, West Virginia, Ole Miss and Cincinnati. He said Maryland, PSU and WVU also have been standing out with him. He has been to Maryland and will visit PSU for the spring game. He also plans to visit Pitt.

Whigan is a native of Great Mills, Md., who did not qualify out of high school in '16. He enrolled at Lackawanna for the '17 season. He will have three years to play two and he plans to graduate in December.

USC offered '20 DE Demon Clowney of Baltimore, the cousin of former USC star Jadeveon Clowney. He also has offers from UGA, PSU, Pitt, Maryland and Michigan.

CLEMSON

OL Harry Miller (6-4, 315) of Buford, Ga., can play all three spots on the line. He has about 30 offers and plenty of national notoriety. Right now he has Clemson among his favorites. Miller also likes Ohio State, ND, UGA and Stanford in his top five. He recently visited ND. Miller plans to visit Stanford in a couple of weeks and then Ohio State the following week. He is set to return to Clemson on May 19.

DE Mataio Soli of Douglasville, Ga., has offers from Clemson, Arkansas, Cal, Duke, Georgia Tech, UF, Stanford, Alabama, Syracuse, Oregon and others. Soli has visited GT, Virginia, Wake Forest, Duke, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. He plans to sign in December and enroll early.

TE Luke Deal of Emerald High School in Greenwood made an official visit to NCSU over the weekend. Prior to that, he spent two days at Clemson on an unofficial visit. He will go officially to Michigan on Saturday and officially to ND on Monday. He's also working on an official visit to Ohio State on April 20. He might return to Auburn and to Clemson before he announces on May 25, the last day of his spring practice.

Clemson offered TE Isaiah Foskey (6-5, 235) of Concord, Calif. He was at Clemson on Wednesday and also has visited Ohio State, UGA, Tennessee and PSU.

Clemson is in the top five with DL DJ Dale of Pinson, Ala. The others are Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and FSU.

Clemson is in the top four linebacker Jaylon Scott of Shelby, N.C., along with NCSU, Duke and North Carolina.

DL Adarious Jones of Virginia Beach, Va., LB Spencer Lytle of Bellflower, Calif., LB Derek Boykins of Concord, N.C., and OL Andrew Kristofic of Gibsonia, Pa., were among the '19 prospects to visit Clemson last week.

Kevin Pyne, a '20 OL from Millis, Mass., visited Clemson on Wednesday. Earlier in the week, he was at Virginia Tech, where he has strong family ties to the program. Some of his other offers are UNC, UGA, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Auburn and Arkansas.

Clemson offered '20 OL Mitchell Mayes of Raleigh, N.C.

BASKETBALL

Alanzo Frink, a 6-9 player from Roselle, N.J., committed to USC last week and will sign on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period.

"I think he's got a diverse skill set," said Frink's head coach, Dave Boff. "He's very comfortable being very physical down in the low post, but he also has a lot of perimeter skills and a high basketball IQ, and you can run offense through him."

Frink narrowed his decision to USC and Georgetown. He made an official visit with USC the weekend of March 23 and Boff said Frink was pretty set on where he wanted to go after that.

"He loved the campus, loved the facilities," Boff said. "Overall I think he wanted an opportunity to play in a conference like the SEC. He wanted to challenge himself against that level of competition."

Frink averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game this season.

USC head coach Frank Martin recently visited 6-3 point guard TJ Moss of Memphis, Tenn., and has now set him up with an official visit to USC this weekend. Memphis also is trying to get Moss in for a visit. Vandy has had an in-home visit and Oregon State also is in the mix.

USC is in the top 10 with 6-3 Courtney Ramey of St. Louis. He posted his list on Instagram, which also has Illinois, Oregon, Southern Methodist, Oklahoma State, Texas, Minnesota, Louisville, Mizzou and Ohio State.

According to Jon Rothstein of CBSSports, USC is showing interest in 6-1 graduate transfer Zach Johnson of Florida Gulf Coast. Arizona and Texas Tech also are interested, according to the report. Johnson averaged 16 points last season.

Clemson and USC are showing interest in former Oklahoma backup PG Jordan Shepherd, according to PrepHoops. Backing up Trae Young, he averaged just over two points and one assist. He's also heard from College of Charleston, GT, WF, Charlotte, St. John's, San Diego, Stephen F. Austin and Pennsylvania.

South Carolina Upstate grad transfer PG Mike Cunningham took an official visit to Tulane over the weekend. He will visit Oklahoma on April 19 and Louisville on April 25.

DJ Burns, a 6-9 player from York Prep in Rock Hill, made his first official visit to Tennessee. The Volunteers have offered along with USC, GT, VT, UGA, Louisiana State and UVa.

FOOTBALL - OTHERS

Placekicker Patrick Nations of Walhalla High was offered by East Carolina. He visited GT on Saturday.

TE Lucas Raber of Southside Christian High in Greenville visited Northwestern and Georgia State last week

DB Jalen Geiger of Spring Valley High in Columbia was offered by UNC and Cincinnati. He also has offers from Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, Liberty, Miami (Ohio), Kent State, Georgia State and Ball State. He visited Kentucky, Kent State and Ball State last week.

WR Jacoby Pinckney of Dorman High in Roebuck visited Oklahoma, WF and VT over the last week.

Running back Michel Dukes of First Baptist in Charleston was offered by Oregon.