Kimbrough Ready for Any Role

Special teams or wide receiver? Nate Kimbrough has shown both his ability as a dangerous punt/kick returner and a skillful wideout. He may be hard for defenses to deal with, but easy going in his personal outlook of the 2005 season.

In Camp T's final scrimmage, the 6-1 183 Nate Kimbrough, dazzled the crowd with 107 yards on six catches, as well as displaying nifty moves returning balls on special teams. "I was feeling good going into the scrimmage," he said. "The coach told me I'll get more reps at receiver, so I concentrated on playing there. Everything fell into place."

Much like another versatile Sun Devil player, Rudy Burgess, Kimbrough was a star on the scout team during his redshirt year, and having him sit out wasn't an easy decision for the coaching staff. If his performance in the pre-season is any indication, just like Burgess, he would be primed for a sensational first year in the maroon and gold. "Overall, this is way better than last year's camp," Kimbrough admitted. "I showed the coaches what I can do. Wherever they put me, I'm gonna work hard at it. I know I did well in this camp."

The ASU wide receiver group is a seasoned bunch, and that may prevent Kimbrough seeing much time at that role. Is he discouraged over that fact? "Not really," he claimed. "I feel that the coaches know where they want to put me at, and if they don't want to put me in sometimes, that's all right by me. I'm gonna work hard regardless, and I want all the upperclassmen receivers to do well and help the team." Kimbrough added that he's been working diligently on his pass catching abilities and is pleased with the success he has seen in that department.

Even if his snaps at wideout will be limited, he's content with his role as a returner. "That's what I came here to do. I want to return punts and kickoffs, and hopefully I can get that chance." And in some ways, he draws from his role on special teams when he plays on offense. "Every time I touch the ball it's like I'm returning a kick. I have to stick and move and get some yards and get passed whomever is around me."

During Camp T, it was hard not to notice the boisterous Kimbrough encouraging his teammates on offense, as well as talking some smack to the Sun Devil defenders. There's a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and the redshirt freshman knows which side he resides on. "I'm not cocky. I'm confident because I know who's better, and I know I'm working hard to get there."

So what does the season opener against Temple hold for Kimbrough? Will it be snaps at punt returner, kick returner, or wide receiver? "I want to do whatever it takes to win," he stated. "That's what I want to do against Temple." If he does transform his fine pre-season performance to the 2005 campaign, the maroon and gold faithful won't be able to get enough of Kimbrough no matter how many roles he plays.

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