- Glenn Nelson, ESPNHS HoopGurlz
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For the second straight year, Stanford is on the positive end of some early signing period drama.
Joslyn Tinkle of Missoula, Mont., the No. 10 prospect in the ESPN 100, signed a National Letter of Intent with the Cardinal on Wednesday, according to sources close to her recruitment.
The signing extends another streak for coach Tara VanDerveer -- this is the fourth straight year that Stanford has signed an elite inside prospect. Tinkle follows Nneka Ogwumike, who made her commitment during the early signing period last year. Ogwumike was preceded by two prospects, Kayla Pedersen in 2007 and Jayne Appel in 2006, who turned out to be Pac-10 Newcomers of the Year.
VanDerveer likely will extend that streak next year as Chiney Ogwumike, No. 3 in the 2010 class, is expected to join her older sister at Stanford.
Tinkle chose Stanford over Oklahoma. She pared her choices to those finalists, then informed Duke, Montana and Texas of her decision on Tuesday night, sources said. Tinkle made her final choice on Wednesday morning.
The 6-foot-3 post from Big Sky High School was delayed in her recruiting process by her participation on her high school volleyball team.
A member of the USA Basketball team that claimed the FIBA U18 Americas championship in Argentina last summer, Tinkle is one of the most polished inside players to emerge in recent years. While showing great determination and power in the painted area, Tinkle also can exhibit higher-playing-level type of restraint and decision-making. Her footwork is advanced both inside and out, and she handles and shoots the ball well enough to play forward and, on Stanford's gigantic front lines, maybe eventually some wing under the right circumstances.
Tinkle joins 6-3 wing Mikaela Ruef, the No. 16 prospect out of Beavercreek, Ohio, as Stanford signees, and gives the Cardinal one of the top 10 recruiting classes nationally. And that rating could continue to climb as the Cardinal remains very much in the mix, with Notre Dame and Penn State, for point guard Skylar Diggins, the No. 3 overall prospect out of South Bend, Ind.
Chris Hansen contributed to this report.
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Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A member of the McDonald's All-American and Parade All-American Selection Committees, he formerly coached girls club basketball, was the editor-in-chief of an online sports network, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.