Latarie Kinsler of Pahokee gave a verbal commitment to Louisville because they were the first university to give him an opportunity.
It was a red letter day for the Pahokee sophomore who described it as an amazing opportunity.
“It was amazing to get the opportunity to do what I love to do and that is play football,” he explained.
Louisville sent some coaches and staff to talk with Latarie last April. He was out of town at the time in Atlanta, but that didn’t stop Louisville. They showed real interest in Kinsler, and talked with him over the phone trying to sell him on their program.
“It just felt like family to me. I think I have a good relationship with the coaches and so I chose Louisville,” he explained.
Kinsler expects to visit the Louisville campus this weekend.
The 6’6” 230 pound Kinsler noticed that Louisville has become a consistent contender in the Atlantic Coast Conference under coach Bobby Petrino, who has gone 26-13 in the past three years. Last season the Cardinals were second in the ACC Atlantic Division and lost to LSU, 29-9 in the Citrus Bowl.
Kinsler said Louisville has always been one of the teams he’s dreamed about playing for since he was a young boy.
“They get better from year to year. You can’t tell how good they will be when I get there. I felt like I made a good decision.”
He also got plenty of interest from in state schools like Florida and Florida State.
Last year Pahokee won the state title on the field, only to lose it on a technicality. Kinsler was a big part of the defense, as he had 23 sacks, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles.
He plans to break records and get noticed in the next three years in Pahokee.
“I feel like I will have an amazing career. Everybody will look up to me and respect me. I always love the Blue Devils,” he added.
Kinsler predicts Pahokee won’t lose a step this year and should contend for another state title.
“I think we have a 100 percent chance of going back to the state championship. I feel our team this year is better than last year,” he added.
Kinsler said while the team lost some talented players to graduation, there are a few players that are under the radar that will impress when they hit the field.
He also wanted to get recognition for his relatives, brother Ta’Quan Kinsler, and cousin Jatarie Washington. He wants fans to think of the Kinsler boys when they think of Pahokee football.
Kinsler also plays boys basketball and carries a 3.2 grade point average.
He is given high marks for his pass rushing ability by scouts. He is quick off the ball and like many in town, chases rabbits to get quicker.
He also is versatile as he played anywhere from defensive end to middle linebacker last year.
Pahokee has a tough schedule this year as they tangle with top teams like Vero Beach, an 8A school, and Cocoa, a perennial power. Latarie said he isn’t worried about any team.
“We don’t worry about other teams, they should be worried about us,” he added.
Kinsler said he plans to study business in college.