COLUMBIA, S.C. (The Big Spur/WIS) - South Carolina football quarterback Ryan Hilinski has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. A sophomore, Hilinski played in two games this season and completed 4-of-6 passes for 34 yards. He saw action against both Vanderbilt and Texas A&M this season coming off of a 2019 campaign where he was the team’s starting quarterback.
Hilinski shared a note to fans on Twitter along with his announcement. He thanked fans and said this was “the hardest decision” he’s had to make in his life.
Hilinski, a former four-star prospect who made his way to Carolina from California, found himself atop the depth chart after senior Jake Bentley broke his foot in the first game of the 2019 season. Hilinski went on to start the rest of the season for the Gamecocks and went 4-7 as a starting quarterback.
Hilinski completed 58.1 percent of his passes as a true freshman for 2,357 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He was sixth in the SEC averaging 214.3 passing yards per game, which was also tops among SEC freshmen.
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The NCAA introduced the portal on Oct. 15, 2018, providing athletes a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff in order to transfer. They merely need to request that compliance enter their name. Usually, it takes 24-48 hours for a player to appear following their request. Schools are free to contact a player without restriction once their name appears in the portal.
While a player entering their name in the transfer portal means they intend to explore their options, it does not necessarily mean they will leave. A player is free to withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are under no obligation to keep a player on scholarship once they enter the portal.
The first portal cycle saw 1,942 FBS players enter in the initial calendar year of its existence, per a source.