Selma’s Kimber happy camper at Alabama
Offensive linemen don’t have a chance to carry newspaper clippings around showing college recruiters their stats.
Unfortunately, the work by offensive linemen doesn’t always translate into numbers. Maybe, coaches put grades on their performance.
You just have to see them play, either on film or in person.
When Selma’s James Kimber went to Tuscaloosa last week for Nick Saban’s four-day camp, University of Alabama coaches got their chance to see the senior lineman.
“We did a lot of drills,” said Kimber, the 6-6, 400-pound lineman (he weighed in at 398, but the extra two pounds is only .005 percent of his weight). “We did about half the stuff at high school that we’ve basically done.”
The only real surprise Kimber encountered was on arrival.
“When we first got there, one coach was energetic and had a lot of enthusiasm,” Kimber said. “So he got us in a circle and we did drills. I was glad that I had my cleats on and my Gatorade pack.”
Assistant head coach and offensive line coach John Pendry was in charge of the 30 or so offensive and defensive linemen that included Kimber. On days with two practices, the days got long and hot, especially driving back and forth to Tuscaloosa.
“We had two practices Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “We had to be there at 8 a.m., and practice at 9. Then practice again at 2:15 (p.m.).”
The three-year starter said he has been scouted by Georgia, Southern Mississippi, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Tennessee and — yep — Alabama.
“My first choice is Alabama,” he said.
He didn’t have a long conversation with Saban, but he did get a compliment from the Crimson Tide mentor as he danced across the field in his size-22 cleats.
“While we were doing drills, Coach Saban was walking around on the field looking at the players,” Kimber said. “He said he was impressed to see a 400-pounder with that kind of footwork.”
Kimber said he works on his footwork by jumping rope and running stairs at Bloch Park.
As for his camp stats, he ran the 40-yard dash in 6.73 seconds, his vertical jump was 13.7 inches and had a long jump of 4 feet, 5 inches.
Kimber, however, remembered what Saban told campers what playing for a Division I college like Alabama requires.
“He talked a lot of about character,” Kimber said. “He said it is important how you carry yourself. And it’s important how you carry yourself without your parents around.”
He said he plans to continue his summer education with four-day camps at LSU and Georgia.