“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing,” Mr. Leach said. “He was an incredible young man and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it. ”
As a redshirt sophomore for the Cougars in 2017, Mr. Hilinski completed 130 of 179 passes for 1,176 yards and seven touchdowns. While the numbers were not sensational, it was enough to make him the presumed starter for Washington State heading into next season.
Mr. Hilinski’s best game of the season came in September against Boise State, in which he came on in relief of Luke Falk and rallied his team to a 47-44 overtime victory, overcoming a 21-point deficit.
In the Cougars’ last game of the season, the team got an early preview of Mr. Hilinski in the starting role as he was thrust into service for a 42-17 loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl. It was a last-minute switch at the quarterback position, as Mr. Falk sat out with what was believed to be a wrist injury to his non-throwing hand.
Mr. Hilinski’s younger brother Ryan is a star high school quarterback in California. In September, Ryan Hilinski received an offer to join his older brother at Washington State as part of the school’s 2019 recruiting class, though he has not committed to the school.
The Hilinski family has been mostly quiet since the news broke, but Ryan Hilinski posted a message to Twitter late Tuesday night that read “Please keep my family in your prayers tonight.”