South Carolina football: Collin Hill named opening day starter

Collin Hill #15. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Collin Hill #15. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Collin Hill has been named South Carolina football’s starting quarterback.

In a quarterback battle has been going on for weeks, graduate transfer Collin Hill  will take over under center after following coach Mike Bobo to South Carolina from Colorado State.

Hill had been battling for the spot against beloved sophomore Ryan Hilinski. Hilinski is coming off of a decent freshman tour, picking up an upset win over third-ranked Georgia.

Head coach Will Muschamp said last Saturday that both the quarterbacks played “extremely well” in the team’s scrimmages before mentioning that the competition would bleed into this week.

Muschamp met numerous times with coordinator Mike Bobo when making a determination on the quarterback spot leading up to the season’s start.

"“We talked briefly about it today. Really broke up as staffs and I’ve been working on Tennessee. I want to get with him tonight or tomorrow and we’ll discuss it further.”"

Muschamp was waiting for this week’s scrimmages to name the starter. The third and final scrimmage was held last Saturday, and the head coach wanted to have a starter in place before turning the team’s attention to its season opener.

"“Both guys did a really nice job (on Saturday). Both guys commanded the offense.”"

Both played well, but Hill got the nod. Despite losing the battle, Hilinski has shown nothing but love for his new teammate throughout the offseason.

"“It’s really cool to see a guy that loves football just as much as I do. Whether he’s on the field or he’s on the sideline, he wants the best for the team. He wants the best execution. He wants 110 percent, then off the field he’s just one of those guys that does things right, which is what we want here at South Carolina, of course, and a lot of guys are like that. I think Collin is a great addition to our quarterback room. I think he’s been a great addition for a lot of guys and he’s helped from a leadership standpoint, of course, helping with learning the playbook and stuff like that, so it’s been really good to having him here and we’re happy to have him in the quarterback room and definitely throughout the team.”"

Praise also came from Hill when speaking on his and Hilinski’s relationship.

"“He’s been really welcoming ever since I showed up here in January, and I think that relationship has continued to grow,” Hill said. “We have a great quarterback room, everyone gets along well, helping each other out. It’s been a good competition. We’ve been splitting reps, trying to make the most of our opportunities. Ryan is a talented guy, for sure. He has a high football I.Q. and we’ve definitely been pushing each other.”"

Hill has been in Bobo’s offense for four years, so it comes as no surprise to many Gamecock fans that he was named the starter.

In 2018, Hill threw for 1,387 yards and seven touchdowns for the Rams in the Mountain West Conference. He had a 67% completion rate last year for Colorado State before tearing his ACL for his third time.

The Gamecocks will play the Tennessee week one at Williams Brice Stadium. The Volunteers are one of the most anticipated games for the Gamecocks this season. Hill will have his opportunity to show onlookers that this was the right call for the South Carolina offense.