Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2019 QB Hilinski Recaps ND and USC Camps

June 13, 2017

It was a crazy weekend for Orange Lutheran (Calif.) quarterback Ryan Hilinski but a very productive one for the 2019 prospect. On Saturday night, the 6-foot-4, 218-pounder camped at Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion and then headed immediately to the airport to participate in USC’s camp on Sunday morning.

“I landed at about 8:10 a.m. at LAX and USC is probably about a 20-minute drive from there,” Hilinski told Irish Sports Daily. “We went straight from the airport to USC and got in a little bit late to the camp. I was part of the last group, and I got put in the Cardinal group, which was the best group.”

The Trojans weren’t the only coaching staff working the camp, as well over 100 coaches were in attendance, which meant a ton of recruits were also working out on Sunday morning. However, Hilinski showed no signs of fatigue as he won MVP at the USC camp.

“Coach Harbaugh was there, and he was giving me some looks,” said Hilinski. “Coach Middleton, who is the offensive coordinator at Michigan, was talking to me and helping me with Coach Ty Helton (USC). I think there were 132+ coaches there. It was ridiculous.

“To be honest, I think were over 500 kids there and it was nuts. At Irish Invasion, you had quality over quantity. They separated us well, and we got reps with the best kids.”

Irish Sports Daily 2019 QB Ryan Hilinski
The California native had been looking forward to camping at Notre Dame for weeks, and his excitement only increased when he arrived in South Bend on Friday night.  

“I got Notre Dame around 4:00 p.m. on Friday,” stated Hilinski. “I wasn’t going to be there for Junior Day on Sunday, so I called Coach (Tom) Rees, and he took Sam (Howell) and I on tour. We went everywhere. It was super cool.

“We went on top of Touchdown Jesus, got some one-on-one time, and took a test. The test was just about basic knowledge and stuff like that.”

It was evident Hilinski and Howell were the top two quarterbacks inside Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, so it wasn’t a shock head coach Brian Kelly made sure Hilinski knew he was doing a good job.  

“I worked my butt off during Irish Invasion,” Hilinski stated. “I know at one point; Coach Kelly was like ‘Is that the kid we were talking about?’ I am walking, and we spoke briefly.”

While he was pleased with Kelly acknowledging him, Hilinski was thrilled to get to work with Rees.

“Coach Rees has been through all of this, and he knows what it takes and what it’s like to go through the recruiting process,” Hilinski said. “I appreciated that he was an honest guy. Some coaches like to beat around the bush with your recruiting process, but Coach Rees was straight to the point.”

Hilinski expected Rees to be low-key as he is a new member of an experienced staff, but the first-year quarterback coach was just the opposite.  

“When I came into the camp, I knew he was a younger, and I thought he’d be a quiet coach that assumed his place,” explained Hilinski. “Right when we got on the field, he was screaming and had bloodshot eyes. He was just going nuts, and that’s the stuff I thrive off of. He said he puts us in that situation to see what we can do under chaos.”

When it came down to his performance at Irish Invasion, Hilinski was pleased with consistency and play.  

“I knew we had a strong wind in the stadium, but I thought I had a really good day,” said Hilinski. “I brought the GST out on Saturday night, and I think I was spinning the ball pretty well. I felt good on fade balls, especially during one-on-ones on comebacks.

“Everything felt smooth, and nothing seemed like it was forced. Coach Rees and Coach Kelly seemed to think I did pretty well too. I was pretty pumped, but at the end of the day, I have to be the best quarterback out there.”

Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.