A couple of the top Memphis-area members of the 2012 signing class square off Friday evening.
Although Memphis University School offensive lineman Ben Still is not personally responsible for stopping Memphis East running back Brian Kimbrow's shifty runs and cuts, that doesn't make the match-up any less intriguing.
Still is a 6-foot-3, 290-pound lineman and the son of Eric Still, a 1989 Tennessee graduate who had several Academic All-America nominations and earned the Jacobs Trophy as the conference's best blocker in his final season with the Vols.
Still traversed the South for football camps throughout the summer as he began to let his self-described "aggressive, smart play" make a name for itself.
"I went to camps at Memphis, Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss, and then I went to FBU (Football University)," Still noted. "I got invited to the Top Gun camp, but I didn't get to it."
He regularly receives mail from schools like Alabama, Nebraska, Stanford, Tennessee and Ole Miss. Still says one school has possibly separated itself from the rest of the pack, in terms of stuffing Still's Memphis mail box.
"Right now, Alabama," Still said. "They're the only ones that are sending me mail that's actually meaningful mail. I got some handwritten ones (from Alabama)
Ole Miss has sent me a lot of stuff, Nebraska, Stanford, I haven't really heard a lot from Tennessee."
Still noted the Tennessee camp as the camp that stood out in terms of what he learned. He also positively described his visit to Ole Miss.
"(Tennessee) was probably the best offensive line camp I went to this summer. I learned the most, with the drills they did there were new, so I took (the drills) back to our coach and we use a couple of them," Still said. "Ole Miss was a good one, too. We did basically the same stuff. I got to look around the indoor facility and that was pretty nice. Ole Miss was more of an agility camp, we did a lot of those footwork drills.
"Houston Nutt seemed like a cool coach. He was real interested in the players. He talked to everybody, but I talked to (Rebel wide receivers coach) coach Dickerson, he recruits the Memphis area. (The Ole Miss staff) seems real interested in their players and I like that kind of stuff. They have a pretty cool players lounge and stuff like that."
When Still is away from SEC camps and his high school's film sessions, he utilizes the valuable resource that his father provides. The older Still gives Ben "a lot of pointers, like what to do when I do something wrong, he'll tell me how to fix it in certain situations. He's been a good person to have throughout."
Still has moved from offensive guard to center for his junior campaign. Still's team often works out of the shotgun with a spread offense, but he does have experience with under-center snaps for short yardage situations.
"I've never played center. Snapping and stepping at the same time has been my main focus," Still added. "It's just a new position and I've gotten used to it pretty good, I've been accurate."
Still's team is 3-2 with losses to Mississippi powerhouses South Panola and Olive Branch.
"Our season is going pretty good," Still said. "We're 3-2 right now. We lost to South Panola and Olive Branch. We play East, it's our homecoming game. They have a lot of skill players. They have that running back, and he's pretty good. They have a lot of talent on that team so it's definitely not a game we're overlooking."
KIMBROW EMERGES AS TOP RECRUIT: Kimbrow is a 5-foot-9, 165-pound athlete who tries to stay full speed at all times.
Kimbrow is primarily a running back, and he moonlights on defense as a cornerback and also returns kicks and punts for his East team.
"The season is going good, I have 767 yards and nine touchdowns in five games," Kimbrow said. "We're 3-2 after we lost an overtime game to White Station."
Kimbrow attended several of the same camps as Still - like Alabama, Memphis, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and "a couple more."
The Memphis athlete is holding offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Memphis, Ole Miss, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Tennessee.
Oregon, Virginia, Penn State, and Vanderbilt are also expressing interest but have yet to offer Kimbrow.
"Hard and shifty, but my line really helps me a lot too, though," Kimbrow says of his running style. "I'm a very patient runner."
Kimbrow ran for 947 yards as a sophomore and averaged nine yards per carry. On defense, he added ten tackles and one interception, but Kimbrow "didn't start on defense the whole year. I only played four or five games on defense at the end of the year."
"I like to be on the field at all times," added Kimbrow. "I like to make plays. I'm a playmaker."
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