Location: Upland (Calif.)
Weight: 190 pounds
Recruiting: Hilinski's recruitment was surprisingly slow until Washington State jumped in to the picture and offered a couple of weeks ago. The quarterback quickly developed a strong relationship with Cougar head coach Mike Leach and after setting up an unofficial visit to Pullman this past Thursday, there was little doubt Hilinski would jump on the offer. We did hear that Vanderbilt was making a run but the recent visit was enough to seal the deal for Hilinski.
What to Like: Hilinski has made big strides in the last year and just keeps getting better. He's very poised in the pocket, one of the more accurate quarterbacks out west and throws with touch and very good timing. He's a smart, heady quarterback who can read a defense and makes quick, sound decisions with the ball. He's also a natural leader, well liked by his teammates and has a tireless work ethic off the field.
What may be of concern: Hilinski needs to continue to work on improving his arm strength and tighten his release. He's going to struggle a bit in college on some of the long outs and post routes unless he develops a little more zip on his ball. His release can also get long, especially on roll outs, although we have seen progress in this area this past spring.
Overall Analysis: Hilinski is a solid pickup for the Cougars and credit Mike Leach who personally recruiting the quarterback. He'll need time to develop but has every intangible you can want in a quarterback. As he continues to fill out and get stronger physically, Hilinski has a chance to be a multi-year starter for the Cougs. He's a very good fit in that offense and his ability to make quick decisions and get the ball out to the right guy will make him a favorite among the coaching staff.