Kimbrow sizzles

Running a football isn't really all that complicated if you happen to be one of The South's top prospects.

"In open space I just run past everybody," Memphis East's Brian Kimbrow said during a break in Sunday's InsideTennessee combine at Knoxville's spectacular D1 workout facility. "I ain't got time to be dancing around. I just get from Point A to Point B."

It helps when you can get from Point A to Point B in 4.24 seconds. That's the hand-timed 40-yard dash clocking he posted during the IT combine, besting runnerup and Memphis East teammate Will Redmond (4.45) by a full 2/10ths of a second.

Kimbrow rushed for 1,651 yards last fall. He returned two of the three kickoffs that came his way for touchdowns. He compiled 2,319 all-purpose yardage.

"I'm a home-run hitter but I'm very patient," he said. "I nickel-and-dime it (with short gains), then all of a sudden I bust it for 80 yards or 70 yards. I have a patient style, while I'm waiting on my blocking to develop. Every time I touch the field I try to stay behind my blockers and be very patient because I know they'll do something for me."

Even hand-time instead of electronically timed, a 4.24 clocking is mind-boggling. Because he is blessed with such rare speed, Kimbrow already is getting keen interest from college recruiters. He says he's "open to everybody" at present but adds that he's looking for a school with "a good coaching staff and a place that fits me."

At 5-9 and 168 pounds, Kimbrow is an undersized running back who has patterned his style after a couple of other undersized running backs.

"I'd say LaMichael James and Chris Johnson," he said. "I like the way Chris Johnson is so patient. And LaMichael James is a smaller back who runs very hard. That's like me; I run harder than my size. I run inside and outside but I do most of my running in between the tackles."

Johnson (5-11, 191) rushed for 2,006 yards for the Tennessee Titans in 2009-10. James (5-9, 185) rushed for 1,731 yards in guiding Oregon to the BCS title game last fall. Like Johnson and James, Kimbrow manages to turn his stature into a positive when he's carrying the football.

"Being the smallest one on the field, it's hard for people to see you behind them big old tackles and guards," he said. "That's an advantage to me."

Having a teammate like Redmond, whose 4.45 speed at quarterback and wide receiver distracts opposing defenses, is an advantage for Kimbrow, too.

"It's great," Kimbrow said. "It takes more than one player to win a game, and I don't make a team by myself."

Maybe not, but when you run like he does, you can come pretty close to making a team all by yourself. Kimbrow realized he might have a special gift at a very young age.

"The first time I went on the field," he said with a laugh. "I was 12, and I played running back. I was real fast and stuff, but I didn't realize how fast until I got to high school."

His first date with a stop-watch occurred when he was a ninth-grader.

"The first time I was clocked I ran a 4.45, and the coach said I was fastest on the team," Kimbrow said. "He said to just keep working and we'd get it down."

Clearly, he succeeded.

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