Name off the top of your head the top geographic target areas you think Stanford Football should recruit, rife with rich talent that gives the Cardinal coaches and fans something to get excited about. Reasonable answers probably include Southern California, Texas and Georgia/Florida. The Card have pulled players from these fertile football lands in recent years, and there is every reason to believe that should continue. It may have escaped your attention, however, that Stanford pulled two of its most exciting recruits from Louisiana last year. And both of those players played as true freshmen on a veteran Cardinal defense, despite middling recruiting rankings earned their senior years in high school. There is tons of excitement surrounding Nick Frank and Brandon Harrison in the Stanford program, and there is a lesson there to be learned: the Pelican State holds far more talent than in-state power LSU can employ, so one would be wise to hunt its talent pool for hidden gems.
I propose that one such diamond in the rough to which we should give our attention is Baton Rouge emerging athlete Anthony Kimble. The 6'1" 185-pounder from University Laboratory School has earned acclaim for his talents on the basketball court, where he is currently playing at shooting guard for one of the top teams in the nation and averaging 14 points per game. Kimble was into the hardwood game in his formative years and saw a future for himself in that sport until he gave football a try and came into his own. After transfering to University and sitting out his sophomore year, Kimble enjoyed a junior year with 10 touchdowns rushing and receiving. In his senior season this fall, the athlete saw time at WR, RB, FS, KOR and PR - totaling 18 touchdowns. Kimble rushed for 1124 yards to lead his team, while at the same time also topping the school in receptions. He found ways to score for his U-High team in all facets of the game, including two interceptions run back for touchdowns and a pair of kickoff returns he took the distance.
Kimble has all the agility and athleticism you expect from a high level basketball talent, and his understanding of the game of football is still catching up to his explosive abilities. Think of a smaller but quicker Jai Miller - without even a fraction of the hype and publicity. Indeed, Kimble has gone largely undiscovered until the last couple months in the recruiting world.
With a 26 ACT and a 3.9 GPA that includes several IB courses, academic schools are the hottest on his trail, so it should not surprise you that both Stanford and Duke have offered. The buzz on Kimble in fact is so strong that new Duke head coach Ted Roof offered before seeing the prospect play.
"I don't know who his sources are and who told him what about Anthony," says father Frederick Kimble, "but when I talked with Coach Roof he was amazed. He wanted to know 'where did this kid come from?' He verbally offered Anthony before seeing him play, which means somebody he trusts must be passing on a glowing recommendation."
Tulane similarly burst onto the recruiting scene for Kimble recently, and even LSU is standing up and taking notice. The latter school has most of its recruiting class filled at this point, with precious few scholarships left to give. Moreover, there is a political process and procedure for recruiting in Baton Rouge that is difficult to understand for outsiders. Most recruiting roads to LSU in that area run through former Tiger basketball standout Collis Temple, whose son Garrett Temple is an accomplished 6'6" senior point guard at U-High - also heading to LSU like his father. The elder Temple is a Godfather of sorts in the area, and what he has told the Kimble family speaks volumes about how much the LSU football staff is impressed with Anthony Kimble.
"I have spoken with Collis Temple several times," Frederick Kimble begins. "And he has told me that if he had known that Anthony would explode like this as a football player, there is no question he would have been an offer and high target for LSU. But with what they have in their class right now and what they have on that team at running back and wide receiver, Nick Saban would want Anthony as a free safety. [Collis] has been talking about setting up a meeting with Nick Saban, but nothing has happened yet."
Meanwhile, Stanford has been sinking their teeth into the rising star from U-High, beginning with an initial phone call from Wayne Moses and later talks with David Kelly.
"Then I got a shocking call from Buddy Teevens the other day," Kimble's father reveals. "Coach Teevens said that his mom and dad should be proud, academically and athletically. Stanford wants to bring him out for a visit. Anthony is what they are looking for in an athlete, and he the whole coaching staff was very impressed with his highlight tape."
Teevens made a verbal offer to Kimble, contingent as always upon acceptance by Stanford's admissions office, which has the Baton Rouge senior student-athlete hard at work on the Cardinal admissions application.
"That is some application," the recruit's father exclaims. "We're working our way through it and called Coach Kelly to get some pointers."
The younger Kimble was looking to come to Stanford for his official visit the weekend of January 16, but a district basketball game has that trip likely moving to January 9. An official trip is also set to Tulane for January 23.
"Anthony is our only child so distance plays a role," his father admits. "But with technology today and flights, we could still get a chance to see him if he went to Stanford."
Which brings us back to local and regional players like LSU and Oklahoma State. The lure of the in-state Tigers is a particularly compelling one for Louisiana kids, and that might put fear in the minds of Stanford fans.
"An LSU offer would make for a pretty tough decision probably," Kimble's father discloses. "But Anthony is a wise kid and can make good decisions for himself. I don't know that [LSU] has shown enough interest."
Anthony Kimble could project for either offense or defense at the college level, though his father suggests that the 6'1" athlete might enjoy his best success at the wide receiver position.
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