July 13, 2012

Film study: T. Kimbrough

When it was first reported that Warran Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) linebacker Tim Kimbrough would take a visit to the Georgia campus, few thought the Bulldogs had a chance.

A few months later, Kimbrough is now set to visit the UGA for a second time for Dawg Night, and with the Bulldogs needing one more inside linebacker in this class, the four star linebacker is one of the top remaining targets the board.

• Where he is great: Kimbrough is the definition of a down hill player. He moves well, but when he leans forward and plays down hill, he gets faster and is quite explosive. He does an excellent job of running through the ball carrier, and does so with a fearless mentality.

Kimbrough is also instinctive, and understands that he doesn't have to engage a blocker to play through the block. He does a great job playing half a man when he is blitzing or attacking the line of scrimmage.

The Rivals250 linebacker also plays with a high motor. He never quits on a play, and has a propensity to run plays down that are going away from him. He is a solid tackler that wraps up consistently as well.

Kimbrough is also very instinctive, and has no trouble reading his keys quick enough to play the vast majority of plays in the run game down hill. He almost never remains inactive for any portion of the play, and his ability to see and diagnose things quickly make it tough for offensive linemen to cut him off before he draws a bead on the ball carrier.

• Where he is good: The Indiana native has a great build for an inside linebacker at 6-foot-1, 226 pounds. It isn't perfect size, but it is still excellent for the down hill style of football that most defenses require the middle linebacker to play.

Kimbrough has solid lateral movement, and for a player that is thick and muscular, he has nice fluidity in his hips and opens up nicely when turning to take and angle on a play.

When it comes to taking on isolation and lead blocks, Kimbrough does a good job of taking them on with the appropriate leverage and from the proper depth as well. He also does a job of consistently playing low when in traffic.

• Where he can improve: At this point, Kimbrough is like most high school players in that he lives for the tackle. His eyes stay in the backfield, and he can be susceptible to play fakes, bootlegs, and counters.

It also hurts him when a blocker is able to engage him because he isn't focused on shedding the block. He is focused on finding the ball carrier.

He also struggles a little against the pass. He opens up well, but seems uncomfortable moving away from the line of scrimmage. He will need to learn the proper way to "wall off" crossers at the next level, and get more comfortable playing in space.

• Overall: There is a reason UGA targeted Kimbrough early and have recruited him with so much intensity. He is a perfect fit for the 3-4 defense. As a 3-4 linebacker, he would asked to play most snaps down hill, and he is perfectly cut out for that. From his physique to his style of play, Kimbrough is the type of linebacker that is going to be very successful against the run.

There is a good chance he will never be considered an elite linebacker in coverage, but he can be solid and get more comfortable playing in space. With his athleticism, he does have the ability to be a solid man-to-man defender on full backs and running backs as long as he isn't in serious mismatch situations.

All a team can ask for when recruiting a prospect is for a guy who has plenty of strengths, few weaknesses, and does almost everything well. That is Tim Kimbrough.

• Recruitment: Kimbrough doesn't talk much to the media, but the word from his camp is that Georgia is a major player. He also likes Ohio State quite a bit, but they have yet to offer and those close to him believe that it would be a moot point for the Buckeyes to offer at this stage.

Wisconsin is another team that Kimbrough likes a lot, but most close to the four star performer believe that Georgia is the team to beat and the Bulldogs could put themselves in a great position at Dawg Night on July 13.

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