Saturday Down South – South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski has a powerful story of strength and perseverance in the midst of personal tragedy. Hilinski’s older brother, Tyler, a quarterback at Washington State, took his own life in January 2018.
Out of that tragedy came Hilinski’s Hope, an organization started by the Hilinski family to raise awareness of mental illness among student-athletes. And to honor the life of Tyler Hilinski, South Carolina fans have held up 3 fingers in the 3rd quarter of each home game this year, with “3” being his uniform number.
The practice has spread among many of South Carolina’s opponents this year, and now a movement among Texas A&M fans to do the same during the Aggies’ game against the Gamecocks has risen on social media and been backed by Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork.
While the Aggies and Gamecocks will be facing off against each other on the gridiron, some things are much bigger than football. Watching opposing fanbases come alongside Ryan Hilinski and his family in the wake of his brother’s death has made for one of the great stories in college football this year.