Timmons Making Most of Chances

"Speed, he's fast, he is all about speed. He's a phenominal athlete." High praise indeed, coming from Big 33 and future Penn State teammate Sean Lee. Lee was talking about Knowledge Timmons, an unusual name that has been making headlines in and around York County and Pennsylvania almost as long as he has been able to lace up a pair of track shoes.

How fast is Timmons? While in seventh grade, he ran a sub-12 second 100-yard dash, an accomplishment that would have placed him among the top five high school sprinters in the United States.

How fast is Timmons? Fast enough that he once outran a Rotweiler with designs on taking a bite out of the speedster.

Timmons was fast enough as a high school junior to win the Pennsylvania 100- and 200-meter dash championships. As his senior year drew to a close, the only question on anyone's mind would be if he would break the state records. Bad fortune struck on the last day of the PIAA meet when Timmons pulled a hamstring coming out of the blocks, and settled for a silver medal in the 100. It was time for Timmons to move on.

With his mind firmly focused forward, Timmons enters the Big 33 football competition with several weeks of workouts with future Penn State teammates already under his belt. Timmons participated in the Penn State Football Lift For Life competition on July 15 with fellow freshmen Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood and James McDonald.

Perhaps Timmons, who was abandoned in 1995 by his mother, is running from memories of the past, but those closest to him, Agnes and Walter Buchanan, Barbara Sims, and Joan Flowers of York, who cared for Timmons as he grew up, believe that he is running toward a brighter tomorrow, and he has no intention of slowing down.

Timmons' 10.47 100-meter time at the PIAA district meet may be the fastest time ever recorded in a district event.

But for now Timmons just wants to show what he can do on the football field. "I think I can play any position I put my mind to," he said, "but by my sophomore or junior year I want to have a set position." Indeed, Timmons has seen time in the defensive secondary, as a receiver, as a return man and as a defender on special teams during Big 33 practice. Although Timmons admits he is likely to be primarily a defensive player, he suggests that he may appear for a few series on the other side of the ball. Clearly the fastest player on the team, it is precisely his speed that causes him the most problems.

"He needs to control it, his instincts are a little bit raw, and when you overpursue with the speed he's got, it's really hard to get back in position," said one observer. Still, his speed is his biggest asset.

"You don't get the opportunity to work with kids who can run like that," observed head coach Bob Palko. "Once he learns the nuances of the game..."

As for Timmons, he thinks Penn State will look at him first as a receiver, and Timmons says once they see him, "Somebody who played last year is not going to play this year."

A little confidence, mixed in with a strong desire to succeed, and the raw speed to make it happen says all a person needs to know about Knowledge Timmons.

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