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West Virginia HS Football

South Charleston DB Kevin Tinsley Stays Home, Accepts Walk-On Offer From WVU



South Charleston senior defensive back Kevin Tinsley (5) accepted a preferred walk-on offer from WVU on Monday. (Tom Bragg/WVSN)

Keeping the top in-state talent in old gold and blue has been a priority for Neal Brown and his coaching staff at West Virginia, and on Monday one of the Mountain State’s best defenders agreed to join the program as a preferred walk-on.

South Charleston senior Kevin Tinsley, who began his prep career at Capital High before transferring to SC prior to this season, announced Monday on Twitter that he is accepting a preferred walk-on offer from the Mountaineers.

Tinsley helped lead the Black Eagles to an unbeaten record and the Class AAA state championship this season with 24 pass breakups, 23 tackles and four interceptions — two of which he returned for touchdowns. He is the second SC senior to commit to a Football Bowl Subdivision school following defensive end Zeiqui Lawton picking Cincinnati last month.

WVSN spoke to Tinsley on Monday about his commitment to the Mountaineers.

“It’s close to home,” Tinsley said. “I’d love to be able to inspire people from down here because people say that down here we don’t get looked at, so that’s why I picked WVU.”

Tinsley, who also has a scholarship offer from Division II Glenville State of the Mountain East Conference and a preferred walk-on opportunity at Cincinnati, stepped right into an already strong South Charleston defense and became an immediate difference maker. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Tinsley helped lock down some top receivers this while SC’s defensive front made life rough for offensive linemen and quarterbacks.

“With the defensive line being as good at pressuring the quarterback as they were, [Tinsley] kind of knew what pass routes would be coming his way,” South Charleston coach Donnie Mays told WVSN. “If they wanted to get the ball out quickly he knew to be expecting hitches and slants, and if they wanted to go deep it was going to be the catch and throw, get it out fast stuff. A lot of teams just didn’t have time against our defensive front, which ultimately played into his game. He is really good at baiting people into throwing certain routes, and he kind of knew what was coming at him.”

Tinsley told WVSN he plans to enroll at WVU for the Fall 2021 semester.

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