Hilinski eyes improvement heading into sophomore campaign with Gamecocks

Hilinski eyes improvement heading into sophomore campaign with Gamecocks
Ryan Hilinski takes part in the Gamecocks' first practice of preseason camp. (Source: South Carolina Athletics)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Gamecocks are feeling good after their first official practice of preseason camp.

“It was good to be back on the grass,” said head coach Will Muschamp following the workout. “The opportunity to be on the field in July and August helped, as we’re further along installation-wise than we normally would be on the first day. We have a long way to go to improve and get better.”

Sophomore Ryan Hilinski, the returning starting quarterback, is focused on improving his command of the new offense.

“We got a lot of stuff to work on,” said Hilinski. “It was a good day one for sure.”

In the quarterback room, it’s about attention to detail to command the new offense directed by first-year offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

“It requires a lot of the quarterback,” added Hilinski. “If you don’t know it, you’re not going to play.”

It also requires excellent footwork.

“Footwork is a big thing I want to work on, too,” he added. “A lot of stuff that happened last year was because of my footwork. A lot of bad plays I still think of. So, I never want that to happen again. I’ve been improving my footwork that goes along with knowing the playbook, knowing drops, knowing footwork.”

A strong command of the playbook will lead to confidence, which is critical to running Bobo’s offense.

“I have been studying the playbook as much as I can,” mentioned Hilinski. “Mastering it, you know, because you have to go out there with confidence. If you don’t go out there with confidence, other guys won’t have confidence in you.”

Hilinski is up to the challenge. He feels good mentally. Physically, he’s ready to go after he underwent offseason surgery to repair a small tear in his left knee.

Looking back at his freshman season in the film room, admittedly at times, it was tough to watch.

“I know I could have done better on some of the plays,” said Hilinski. “Once we improve upon those little things, after watching that film, which we are doing, it’s going to be a way better season this year. We are excited.”

Hilinski shares a similar enthusiasm to play and learn under coach Bobo.

“I love his on-the-field coaching,” said Hilinski. “He gets fired up a lot. Requires a lot of you, requires near perfection. If you are not at perfection, the whole offense is messed up. He demands perfection.”

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