South Carolina freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski struggled mightily in his first game against the Clemson Tigers. Now, it appears that injuries may have played a part.
Hilinski finished just 16-for-27 for 105 yards and an interception. It wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the No. 3 Tigers, who got a near-perfect performance from Trevor Lawrence in the game.
The Gamecocks fell 38-3 at home, sealing a very disappointing 4-8 record. Will Muschamp will likely survive it, if only because of his extremely high buyout, but he acknowledged after the game that changes must be made for next fall.
Today, is has come out that Hilinski has a torn meniscus and ACL. He was in through the end of the Clemson game, attempting passes on South Carolina’s second-to-last drive. The team handed the ball to A.J. Turner four straight times to end the game, so it is very unlikely that it happened during that final drive.
— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) December 3, 2019
Ryan Hilinski dealt with injury throughout his first collegiate season, most notably leaving the shocking overtime win at Georgia.
Dakereon Joyner entered that game and helped the team pull out the huge upset in Athens, despite barely throwing the ball.
Jake Bentley entered the year as starter, but only played in one game—the season opening loss to North Carolina—before going out with a broken foot. Hilinski gave the team a lift after taking over, but the team limped to the finish, winning just one of its final six games.
If it turns out that the young quarterback was playing a significant chunk of that time on some serious knee injuries, Muschamp should definitely have to answer for it.
Update: It sounds like the meniscus issue is being addressed, but new reports state that Helinski does not actually have a torn ACL.
According to multiple sources, South Carolina freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski does not have a torn ACL and did not play on a torn ACL this past season.
Columbia-area media reports indicated otherwise earlier Tuesday. Per contacts within the football program, those reports are not accurate.
Hilinski, who started 11 games for the Gamecocks this past season, does have an issue with his meniscus (as Tony Morrell reported on TheBigSpur.com) that he will have to have “cleaned up”. He is expected to have a procedure done on Wednesday. Meniscus issues are relatively common, playing through meniscus issues is common and the recovery time is a fraction of what a torn ACL would be.
That is certainly less serious than the Gillespie report indicates, and Hilinski could be ready for spring football if this is just a meniscus cleanup. We’ll have more as this is cleared up further.
Update: South Carolina has confirmed that it is just a minor meniscus issue, and that Hilinski should be back participating in team activities next month. That is obviously fantastic news for the program.