Kimbrough Thrives on Competition

A player coming off a redshirt year is probably hungrier than any other teammate during spring practice. Every snap, every drill, is looked at having a stronger sense of urgency than the time spent on the scout team. While Nate Kimbrough valued his time on the Sun Devils' scout team and the role that it had played in his development, he's eager to battle the incumbents at wide receiver and steak his claim for a high spot on the depth chart.

We talked to Nate Kimbrough this past Thursday, the first day of spring practice where the maroon and gold donned the pads. This is a day usually relished by the front lines from both sides of the ball. Thus, how does a wideout, a position not accustomed to much contact, feel about the initial day where the hitting is taken up a few notches? "All the DB's tried to intimidate us when we came out," he said. "I wasn't really scared (smile), and it's all good because it's all about competition."

Kimbrough, who was voted as one the standouts on last year's scout team, was already making headlines in high school prior to his arrival in Tempe. He was a post-season PrepStar All-American selection, as well as being named first-team all-C.I.F. Southern Section in Division VII. The 6-1 172 redshirt freshman is humble in light of the success he has enjoyed. "I'm working hard like everyone else, and trying to get a spot on the field," he remarked. "I've been working on my hands, my routes, my speed…just staying conditioned and lifting weights so I can get more physical. I'm trying to get to where D-Hag (Derek Hagan) is at. He's one of the biggest inspirations."

ASU's wide receivers group is arguably the deepest unit on the team along with the offensive line. Aside from Derek Hagan, the team returns three other players who played significant minutes – Terry Richardson, Moey Mutz, and Matt Miller. Kimbrough acknowledges that he's walking into a situation that will require nothing less than his best. "It's pretty tough competition," admitted Kimbrough. "We're competing against each other, but also helping each other out by competing."

Whether Kimbrough does or does not make his mark at the wide receiver position, he's already being counted in the mix for a return man on special teams. "That's my favorite aspect of the game," he said. "I love returning, and if I have a chance to do it, I will try my hardest to kick return and punt return, and get that starting spot." At this role Kimbrough will be dueling with fellow wideout Richardson and all-around athlete Rudy Burgess.

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