Back when he was one of the more touted junior high basketball players in the Northwest, Jesse Sims played some AAU hoops alongside Missoula’s Tres Tinkle.
Now Sims is joining Tinkle at OregonState, albeit in a different sport – the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder committed to the Beavers for football last week.
Sims, a senior defensive end and tight end, will go from Corvallis to Corvallis: He’ll suit up for the Blue Devils this weekend, and for the Beavers of Corvallis, Oregon, in 2015.
He committed last week, after visiting the OSU campus in early August. Tinkle committed early this week for basketball, and will be coached by his father Wayne Tinkle, who was hired to coach the Beavers in May.
“I know him pretty well,” Sims said of the younger Tinkle. “That’s awesome he’s going there. It was funny – we ended up running into his dad out there. Tres hadn’t committed yet, but (Wayne) was hoping he would.”
A standout basketball player who was the most valuable player for champion Stevensville in the 2013 State A tournament – he transferred to Corvallis this past January – Sims began to think about collegiate football more and more when he hit high school.
“I was always really tall when I was younger and then I kind of plateaued,” he said. “And I kept getting bigger, so that’s when I started thinking football.”
He hit the summer camp circuit this summer: The Northwest Elite Sports Camp in Tukwila, Washington and the Nike Football Training Camp at the University of Oregon.
Sims had offers from Colorado State, Montana, Montana State, Wyoming and Idaho, and had drawn interest from Washington and Arizona State. He said OregonState plans to use him on offense, and probably at tight end, though he could play some H-back.
OregonState, coached by Mike Riley, went 7-6 last season including a victory over BoiseState in the Hawai’i Bowl. The Beavers finished tied for fourth in the Pac-12 Conference’s North division.
“I went out there with my family and we stopped by,” he said Thursday. “I’d definitely been kind of considering them. They were at the top of the list. It was a really good fit and they’d had a lot of early commits already, so I definitely didn’t want to lose a spot by not committing.”
Sims, whose sister Alycia plays basketball for the Montana Lady Griz, has his first football game with the Blue Devils Friday night at Frenchtown.