After win in Ireland, Hilinski pays tribute to late brother
DUBLIN (AP) — Ryan Shilinski said Ireland will always be a special place for his family, and not just because of Northwestern’s 31-28 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.
The Wildcats quarterback was in Ireland a decade ago watching his older brother Taylor play in the youth tournament. Taylor committed suicide in 2018.
“My parents wrote me a card before every game,” he said after the game at the Aviva Stadium.
Inside the card is the “Ireland 2012” patch on Taylor’s jersey.
Taylor was a Washington State quarterback who was expected to start the 2018 season until his death at the age of 21. Doctors later revealed that Taylor suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated head trauma.
“Opening your card and seeing this result, I mean it’s very special. As soon as I saw my mum tonight, I thought, ‘The Shilinskis are now 2-0 up in Ireland. “So Ireland definitely has a special place in my heart, it definitely has a special place in the hearts of the Shilinskis,” Ryan said.
He also places the patch under his thigh pad during games.
“I don’t know, some extra stuff like this would help. So that’s my whole game. Yeah, it felt like Tyler was there, he won another game, and us. This is what I’ll be forever things to remember.”
Following the death of their son, Mark and Kem Shilinski founded a foundation called Shilinsky Hope to advocate for mental health awareness.
Ryan Hilinski threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns Saturday to help the Northwest win after trailing 28-17 in the third quarter.
The California native started his college career in South Carolina before transferring to Northwestern.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Subscribe to The Associated Press’ College Football Newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25