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Getting to know Cougar Quarterback Trey Tinsley

Tinsley is trying to take over for Luke Falk

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, and Happy Easter. Happy Passover as well, as we are amid that celebration. Is it “Happy” Passover? I doubt it. One funny part about having young kids is when they learn something at school (such as what Passover is) then come home and try to recount what they learned. It’s a definite telephone game situation. But I digress.

As you all know, spring practice is in full swing on the Palouse, and the principle storyline revolves around which of several candidates will succeed Luke Falk behind center. Among the many competitors currently on campus - transfer Gardner Minshew won’t arrive until the fall - walk-on Trey Tinsley might have the early lead, as Theo Lawson reported following Saturday’s workout.

Now, if this were a golf tournament, we’d probably classify it as Tinsley having made birdie on the opening hole while the other QBs made par or worse. That is to say, it’s early. I thought this was the most interesting portion of the profile as it notes Tinsley’s on-field temperament, as opposed to Falk’s.

Through five days of spring camp at WSU – a sample size too small to draw any substantial conclusions – Tinsley seems to have the best handle on those concepts of the five QBs taking repetitions, and of the three taking significant ones. Leach considers him “the most polished” quarterback on the Cougars’ roster and he’s been afforded the privilege of leading the first offensive series whenever WSU breaks into its “live” 11-on-11 period.

But because Tinsley appears most capable of replacing Falk at this early juncture does not mean he’s the most accurate comparison to the former WSU star. More of a polar opposite actually.

If Falk is a ‘4’ on the bravado scale, Tinsley’s a ‘9.’

“I’ll just look at a guy, throw some balls at the defense, just talk a little smack to make sure the blood’s flowing,” Tinsley said after Saturday’s practice at Martin Stadium. “Just make sure guys are loose and playing their best game. … That’s just fun, have a good time, try to get guys smiling and just play ball.”

For all the labels Falk accrued in his four year as the Cougars’ QB, “savvy trash talker” was certainly not one of them.

After I read the Tinsley article, I got to wondering about his past. We’re all aware that, like Falk, Tinsley is a walk-on. Though he hasn’t thrown a pass for WSU, Tinsley has seen the field quite a bit, serving as Erik Powell’s holder on place kicks. His bio on the team website offers precious little additional information, other than the fact that he came to WSU after one season at Fullerton College. As such, a little research was necessary.

Turns out Tinsley had to construct his own blog for a Communications class. Tinsley grew up in Lake Forest, CA, and is the youngest of three children. He is a Communications major, and is also pursuing a minor in Sports Management. In his off time, Tinsley enjoys playing golf and ping pong, and is a fan of the beach (probably not a lot of beach options in Pullman. Sorry, Trey).

Tinsley’s professional goal is also centered around football, as he aspires toward a career as a college football offensive coordinator. A quarterback who wants to run his own offense some day can be a great asset to have behind center, as there’s little doubt that he will be prepared to play. So while we have miles to go before the 2018 quarterback derby is settled (and it will be settled before the Wyoming game inshallah), I will be very interested to see how Tinsley operates the offense at the Spring Game.


The blurb on WSU denotes the Apple Cup as a “swing game” which, yeah, that’s some high comedy.

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