Tinlin gone with the wind: Cyclones get former STHS player
Brandon Tinlin is a young man undaunted by new places and new faces.
Last year, the 18-year-old Tinlin transferred from South Tahoe High to Point Loma High in San Diego. Tinlin expanded his horizons farther on Monday night, verbally accepting a scholarship to play football for Iowa State University of the Big 12 Conference starting next season.
“It’s the right place for me,” said the 6-foot-5, 223-pound tight end. “I got along with the players really really well. That was kind of what I was looking for, how well I got along with players in that little bit of time.”
Tinlin visited the Iowa State campus last weekend, his third official recruiting trip. Earlier, Tinlin made official visits to UNLV and Utah, as well as unofficial trips to Nevada and San Diego State.
He made up his mind Monday after a receiving some indefinite information from Nebraska officials.
“The Nebraska coach said they might have a scholarship for me, so I told him that I wasn’t going to waste his time and my time if he didn’t have that scholarship,” Tinlin said. “I had a great time and loved Iowa State.”
Tinlin ran up a large phone bill Monday night as he relayed the news to his proud parents, Bill and Karen Tinlin, and younger brothers Daniel and Garrett in South Lake Tahoe.
“When your parents are almost crying on the phone because they are so happy, that’s so awesome and it makes you feel so good about yourself and about what you’re accomplishing,” Tinlin said.
From an unrecruited quarterback tucked away in the Sierra his junior season, Tinlin transformed into a highly visible tight end/defensive end as a senior at Point Loma.
“There’s no way I thought it was possible,” said Tinlin’s father, Bill, looking back on his son’s chances of playing in the Big 12 last year. “There wasn’t anyone looking at him, let alone thinking about giving him a free ride.”
Tinlin caught 19 passes for 350 yards in Point Loma’s run-oriented offense and was lauded for his blocking skills by coach Mike Hastings.
“He drove kids right off the screen when we watched him on the video tape,” Hastings said.
Tinlin stood out even more as a defensive end, making 12 quarterback sacks and 56 tackles. He was selected Eastern League Defensive Player of the year, all-Eastern League first team and team MVP.
College educations don’t come cheaply these days, so the Tinlins will escape the financial burden facing many families with high school seniors. However, Bill knows of an extra expense brought on by his son’s far-off campus.
“I’m gonna get there, and I’ll probably have to get a dish,” Bill said. “They’ll be on TV 10 times next year.”
Iowa State coach Dan McCarney directed the Cyclones to their third consecutive bowl game in 2002 and has agreed to coach the team through the 2010 season.
Tinlin’s scholarship to Iowa State won’t become official until national letter intent day on Feb. 5.
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