Former South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Todd Ellis was pleasantly surprised with what he saw last Saturday from one of the candidates to start at signal-caller.
“I am not downgrading anyone who was out there, but (Collin) Hill throws as pretty a ball as I have seen here since maybe Anthony Wright,” Ellis said, during ‘Carolina Calls’ with Will Muschamp on Thursday night.
“Catchable. Firm. Big-time arm. And, coach, that kid is huge. I had no idea how big he was.”
Hill, a graduate transfer from Colorado State, is listed at 6-foot-4, 222 pounds. He remains in competition with sophomore Ryan Hilinski and freshman Luke Doty, who mostly played wide receiver during most of South Carolina’s first stadium scrimmage of the preseason.
“I thought all three guys Saturday did a really good job,” Muschamp said. “Ryan was the player of the day (on Saturday). Had some really explosive plays, especially in the move-the-ball period. Situationally, I think the defense in the red zone played really well, then in our third-down period.
“But when you talk in terms of the move-the-ball, offensively, the explosive plays were really pleasing to see, more than we’ve had in a while here. Ryan did some really good things for us Saturday. His experience for us last year certainly has paid off. He continues to improve and get better.”
Hilinski threw for 2,357 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions last season. Hill passed for 3,323 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over parts of four seasons under Mike Bobo at Colorado State.
Bobo, of course, is now calling plays for South Carolina’s offense.
“Collin is very comfortable in the system,” Muschamp said. “He feels very comfortable, as far as the run game, protections and different things that we’re doing route-concept-wise, and throws the ball extremely well. He’s got a Sunday arm, there’s no question.”
Doty, a four-star prospect coming out of Myrtle Beach (S.C.) High School, enrolled at South Carolina in January. At this point, he’s expected to have a multi-faceted role for the Gamecocks in 2020. And it won’t just be on the offensive side of the ball.
“I’ve been so proud of Luke and how he’s played and how he’s contributed playing two positions,” Muschamp said. “Played some receiver, played some quarterback. … He came up to me on Monday and he said, ‘You keep worrying about the gunner position on punt, put me at gunner. I’m one of the fastest guys on the team.’
“So he’s a gunner now, too, but a guy that can do a lot of things for you. Very bright. Very smart. Extremely athletic and competitive, practices the right way. He’s going to be a really good football player here at South Carolina.”