JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Hundreds of mourners have gathered in Florida to remember University of Minnesota football player Gary Tinsley.
The Florida Times-Union reports that an estimated 1,800 people gathered at the funeral for the 22-year-old Tinsley on Saturday.
Coaches, teammates and family members remembered his ever-present smile during a two-and-a-half hour funeral at Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church in his hometown of Jacksonville. Tinsley was a standout player at First Coast High School in Jacksonville before playing for the Minnesota Gophers.
Minnesota defensive tackle Brandon Kirksey said Tinsley “really impacted everybody around him. He was a shining light.”
Tinsley was found unresponsive by his roommate at their campus apartment on April 6. Medical personnel could not revive him. The 6-1, 231-pound middle linebacker had been working out and preparing for this month’s NFL draft. He was to receive his degree in business marketing next month.
The cause of Tinsley’s death is still under investigation.
The Baptist church was packed with family and friends who came to pay tribute to Tinsley.
No cause of death has yet been determined.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)