It is evident in watching Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central's Tim Kimbrough that the junior linebacker lives for the big hit. It is no surprise, then, that he most closely identifies with another Midwest linebacker who has gone on to be known one of the NFL's most feared hitters.
"James Harrison - I try to hit people like he does," Kimbrough said. "My mindset was to come out here and takes heads off."
The 6-1, 216-pound Kimbrough noted that he accomplished that objective in Warren Central's season opening win over Merrillville (Ind.) on Saturday night. The junior prospect notched 12 tackles in the first half alone, and punctuated several of those stops with pad-popping force.
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Although Warren Central, RivalsHigh's No. 3 ranked prep team in the country, easily won their opener over Merrillville by a final of 64-13, Kimbrough was not satisfied.
"We gave up two touchdowns today, so we have to get better and work harder," he said.
Although Kimbrough still feels there is work to be done, several schools have already seen enough of the junior linebacker to know he can play for their teams. North Carolina and Purdue jumped out early with offers, and other Midwest programs are showing significant interest.
"Notre Dame likes me," Kimbrough said. "Michigan State sends me the most mail and Ohio State likes me.
Two elements Kimbrough will be looking for in the schools recruiting him are football tradition and a history of playing hard-nosed defense. He specifically mentioned Ohio State as a team that has caught his attention early.
"I saw they had their coach get fired, but I still like them because they hit hard and they always play hard," Kimbrough said. "I need a team that hits hard and likes to hit."
This fall, Kimbrough expects to get out and see some college games, but he does not have any specific visits scheduled. His primary focus is on leading his team and living up to their lofty ranking.
"I'm trying not to be big-headed because I am a junior and getting offers," Kimbrough said. "I just try to stay focused, keep working hard and keep getting better."