loves to talk about his lack of size.
Conventional wisdom says that at 5-foot-8½ and 168 pounds, Kimbrow wouldn't stand a prayer to make a blue chip recruiting watch, let alone the No. 38 spot in Tom Lemming's national Top 100 recruiting list.
But with highly unconventional speed and quickness – he was once hand-timed at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash says his Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)
head coach Marcus Wimberly and he already edged former Mustang and current Denver Broncos defensive back Cassius Vaughn in a head-to-head race – and more so a burning desire to be the best, Kimbrow has already been offered 33 Division I scholarship offers as a sheer and pure athlete.
He's already picked Vanderbilt, an odd choice to some because the Commodores have had just two winning seasons in 30 years and haven't landed a top 100 recruit in at least a decade.
But Kimbrow connected with Vandy coach James Franklin, calling him a father figure, one that he lacked in a troubled childhood.
He picked Vanderbilt over more conventional BCS schools like Auburn, Tennessee and Notre Dame.
"They really sat down with me and seemed to care about me as a human being," Kimbrow said. "They want me to be happy and successful long after football. And that's very important to me."
Kimbrow wouldn't offer details of his upbringing in this 20-minute phone conversation, but just called it "very hard," he said. "There were financial issues and other stuff."
The middle of five children, Kimbrow was born in Mississippi and grew up angry, he said. Football was his great release, a place to unleash his passion and anger.
"We played pick-up games in the street and it wasn't touch," he said. "We played tackle. It wasn't always pretty."
But it was the toughness acquired in the streets that led scouts to knock on his door.
They weren't so concerned about his measurement from head-to-toe but around his heart and that oddity just below his neck.
"I play with a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I always have. Because of my size, I always have something to prove."
He proved his production on a 4-7 squad last year, rushing for 1,557 yards (7.7 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns.
Kimbrow was even more impressive to start the 2011 season on Friday, rushing 25 times for a career high 319 yards and touchdown runs of 9, 70 and 90 yards in a 41-33 win over Southwind.
Nicknamed "Flash," Kimbrow finished the first half with his 70-yard TD jaunt that turned around the game.
"I want to go out with a bang my senior year," Kimbrow said.
Wimberly, a former safety for the University of Miami and fifth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1997, said Kimbrow has been the bomb since he arrived on campus as a freshman.
He first saw Kimbrow play at Lester Middle School when the fleet do-everything player went head-up with current teammate Will Redmond
, a now 6-foot, 180-pound safety headed to Mississippi State.
"(Kimbrow) was running around very raw and not very big," Wimberly said. "But he was the fastest thing out there. He had a lot to learn and had to mature, but we had a suspicion he would be something special. And he is."
Wimberly uses Kimbrow as both a running back and receiver and he returns kicks and punts. "He's like a little Reggie Bush," Wimberly said.
Besides oppositions needing to game plan for him in so many areas, Wimberly said Kimbrow's worth to the team is immeasurable.
"He works hard seven days a week," Wimberly said. "He's so darned determined. He always tries to motivate his teammates. Above all, he just owns such a big heart. "
Said assistant coach Coby Hayslett, a former defensive lineman who led East to a state title in 2001: "He's everything you want in a high school football player. He's our vocal leader and he can be a quiet leader. When the lights come on Friday night, he's always our leader."
He'll be an impact player right away in college as well, said Lemming.
"He's small, but explosive," Lemming said. "He shows the vision, balance and cutting ability to make an instant impression as a freshman."
Asked if Kimbrow's lack of size will be a hindrance in college, Wimberly snickered.
"He'll get it done," he said. "One way or another Brian will always find a way to get it done."