JUCO QB Has Connection To Maryland

Maryland seemed set on taking just one quarterback in its 2015 class, but evidently the Terps are taking a look at the junior college ranks again.

Maryland seemed set on taking just one quarterback in its 2015 class, but evidently the Terps are taking a look at the junior college ranks again. One name that recently surfaced is 6-foot-6, 235-pound pro-style gunslinger Kelly Hilinski (Riverside CC/Riverside, Calif.), who said his coach and recruiting coach let him know that UMD JUCO recruiter Brian Stewart had been in touch.

“It was late last week, and my coaches told me Coach Stewart had contacted them and said [the Terps] were thinking about offering me, though it hasn’t happened yet,” said Hilinski, who attended high school at Notre Dame in Sherman Oaks, Calif., and was originally a Columbia commit. “But I’m still trying to get in touch with Coach Stewart myself; we’ve been leaving each other messages, trying to get in contact. I know he was up at Syracuse last weekend and we were down in San Diego, so we’re both busy. So right now I’m just going off what my coaches have said, and apparently [Stewart and UMD] like my game.”

Hilinski then went into detail what his coaches imparted after their conversation with Stewart. Evidently his recruitment is in the preliminary stages, with the Terps gathering transcripts, learning more about his background and studying film.

“But my coaches did say Coach Stewart thought I could potentially make an impact at Maryland,” Hilinski said. “So we’ll see what happens there. It really was a spur of the moment thing, and since then I’ve just been trying to find out more.”

The Riverside product, who was originally a class of 2012 recruit but chose to try and raise his profile instead of heading to the Ivy League, admitted he doesn’t know much about the program yet. But he does have a connection to Maryland itself.

“I actually have family back on the East Coast, and my grandma used to lived in Maryland and I’ve been out to visit her a few times,” Hilinski said. “I liked it out there, and I thought it was a cool place. I wouldn’t mind going to college out there.

“And, really, it doesn’t matter what coast I’m playing on. I just want to help a team and a program improve. I have a lot of family out on the East Coast; a grandma who was in Maryland, an uncle in Columbia, N.Y., another uncle in Boston. So I’m really not worried about leaving California.”

Besides that family connection to the Old Line State, though, Hilinski is still studying up on the Terps. He said, though, he did talk to a trainer at Riverside CC who used to hold the same position in College Park, Md., for four years.

“It’s kind of cool, her name is Stephanie and she’s been filling me in the last couple of days. She was telling me how Maryland had a linebacker playing quarterback for them a couple years back when four guys got hurt, and she said now they have a sixth-year guy named C.J. [Brown] starting now,” Hilinski said. “But besides that, I know Maryland is a very good academic school, they’re in the Big Ten and it’s a coaching staff that’s been there for six years. It sounds like it could be a really good opportunity for me.”

Other than Maryland Hilinski is hearing from Tennessee, San Diego State and Oklahoma. He said he does not have any firm offers at this point.

“I’m not really worried about offers right now; it’s still early,” Hilinski said. “I just sent out my preliminary highlights from this year, so I’m hoping to hear more once coaches take a look at those.”

As for what he brings to the table, Hilinski described himself as a pure pro-style pocket passer who has mainly operated in a two-back system.

“My strength is that I’m a big guy, I can get the ball downfield and I’m pretty accurate throwing the deep balls, the comebacks, the outs,” Hilinski said. “And I guess the main thing I have to work on is my mobility and footwork. As a bigger guy, I have to be able to scramble, maneuver in the pocket and things like that.”

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