January 4, 2010

Running back thoughtful in approach to recruitment

If patience really is a virtue, Tahj Kimble is a saint.

At least if the criteria is kept off the field.

The explosive running back from Fernandia Beach, Fla. isn't known for his timidity between the lines, but he's brought a level-headed and mature approach to his recruitment.

Kimble gained 1,300 yards rushing and 300 receiving as a senior, picking up large chunks at a time en route to 14 touchdowns. His stats and style earned him a three-star distinction and got him a bevy of scholarship offers to mull over.

Now he's deciding which school to school to choose and he's taking his time in doing so.

"I am trying to narrow it down but it's pretty hard to do," Kimble said. "I want to have my decision before signing day because I know someone can commit and then you lose your spot, but at the same time I want to know what I'm doing.

"I am going to take all my official visits and decide which one place I like the best. I want to get the feel of the school and know exactly why I'm choosing a place. Now I just have to figure out where I want to go."

Tulane coaches are pushing for him to spend a weekend in New Orleans in the last week of January, and while Kimble is mulling over the trip, he hasn't decided where he wants to go.

After logging his lone official visit to Purdue back in October, he's unsure where the remaining weekends of January will be spent. With offers from at least nine schools, including: Tulane, Boston College, Minnesota, Middle Tennessee, Indiana, Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Purdue and Iowa State, the options can be a bit dizzying.


It's up to the Green Wave coaches to try and stand out amongst the crowd, a difficult job considering it's need for a running back didn't reappear until the later months of the season.

"I heard from Tulane early and then they kind of backed off," Kimble said. "But they came by my school not too long ago and they talked to me, and they wanted me to take a visit up there. I haven't decided where I'm going to visit though.

"I mean they were up there and then I hadn't heard from them for a while so I don't know what I'm going to do about that."

Kimble became one of the Wave's top targets after coaches watched the explosive running back tear through defenses for 1,600-plus all purpose yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior.

Tulane offered a scholarship early on and pursued Kimble throughout the summer. No surprise considering his game-changing attributes in the open field and the playmaking ability he could provide to Tulane's backfield.

"The way I've always heard people describe is as a game-changer, and I don't really know about all that but I like to make plays," Kimble said. "I'm big and I think a lot defenses assume I'm a bit of a power back but I'm really more of an elusive guy.

"I can shake a guy and get myself upfield and I'm probably more likely to do that than run someone over. I don't have great track speed or great 40-time or anything but I think I can still rely on my speed and get up the field."

But again, as rapid as his pace is on the field, he's been equally deliberate through the recruitment process.

With about a month left before signing day things are going to speed up, and Kimble is prepared to make the judgement when he needs to.

"There are some important things and they have to be seen through visits," Kimble said. "I am kind of picking a family. The players are going to be like my brothers and the coaches are like my parents, so I need to get a feel for it. It just takes some time to decide."

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