Loudon County (VA) junior Jimmy Kibble first made a name for himself as a nationally acclaimed specialist after he was tabbed a five-star kicker by Kohl’s Kicking and 4.5-stars as a punter. But the 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete has a blazing skillset that goes beyond kicking the ball as Kibble plays both ways as a wide receiver and free safety and his 4.39 laser-timed 40 has led him to enjoy the early success.
“I couldn’t sit through four years of college just to kick the ball. With COVID, I had a lot of time to think and I had all that free time to start working on it, work on it, starting to dial in,” Kibble told SEQL. “I started to go somewhere, and I just rolled with it.” That time spent allowed to develop into more than just a downfield threat as Kibble works to become a complete receiver.
“Last year with my speed, I was used very heavily as a deep threat. I was always the post guy, 50–50 guy and I’d come down with it which don’t get me wrong, I love doing but I feel like I hadn’t gotten a chance to show the skillset that I have and running routes. The 50–50 ball, you’ve just got to be that dude to come down with it, but I just really want to focus on my short routes — slants, comebacks. I did that and this year I feel like I’ll be able to show that, and I think that part of my game hasn’t really been put out there.”
Columbia, Georgetown, Old Dominion, and UMass have all extended offers while Harvard, Yale, Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia Tech are among the long list of schools already tracking the Virginia sleeper. College coaches will keep a close eye on Kibble as they analyze his athleticism and fit at the next level, but Kibble knows coaches won’t have to worry about him in the classroom.
“I’m very focused on my academics. I have a 3.95 GPA on my transcript, something that is very important to me. I’m a very family-based guy and I like taking charge.”
Kibble admitted there’s “no shame in kicking” as he looks forward to turning the heads of college coaches when Loudon County High School kicks off their spring season. “The next four years of my life, I’m really focusing on the receiver side.” Kibble worked through an overhaul of his high school staff to prepare for next week’s season opener as he sees himself taking on a bigger role.
“My team is shaping up. We had a whole new coaching staff so had to get accustomed to that, but it’s all working out. I’m definitely trying to be a leader of the team so that’s something I’ve put my stamp on so far. I’m going both ways, playing free safety and receiver, but I never really focused on receiver until the end of last year and into COVID because I was a big kicker, so I made that big transition, so I’ve been really focusing on that. It’s been paying off.”
Written by Ahmed Ghafir, publisher of Inside the Black & Gold.