This past Sunday, the Virginia Tech Hokies gained a commitment from two-star WR Kalil Pimpleton of Muskegon High School in Muskegon, Michigan. So far, Pimpleton only has two offers from the Hokies and Eastern Michigan though some other offers seem likely for Pimpleton.
At 5’7” and 155 pounds, Pimpleton is quite small for a FBS college football player and while that does limit his upside in some areas, he definitely has the potential to be a very dangerous weapon if used properly.
Pimpleton plays quarterback for his high school team, but will make the move to wide receiver at the collegiate level with his highlight tape showing him playing wide receiver in offseason workouts along with showing off his hands at the beginning of his highlight tape.
What is clear with Pimpleton is that he is a very talented athlete who has tremendous speed and is usually the fastest player on the field. Pimpleton is one of those players that you want to get the ball too quickly or go for the deep pass and let him try to out-run everyone else on the field.
Pimpleton’s lack of size will make him a slot receiver at the collegiate level but with Justin Fuente bringing his up-tempo offense to Blacksburg, his speed will make him quite dangerous especially if he is better conditioned than the nickel cornerbacks and safeties matched up against him.
Kalil Pimpleton is a guy that you want to get in space quickly and make a quick pass to whether that be on a slant or in route in pure man coverage or on a quick screen to the outside in some sort of three receiver set. Pimpleton’s time at quarterback could also allow the Hokies to add some creative wrinkles to their offense and possibly use him as a Wildcat quarterback in some cases to get the ball in his hands more.
Pimpleton’s impressive speed, acceleration, and agility make him someone who could immediately compete to be the Hokies’ kick returner. Now, Pimpleton’s lack of size likely means that having him return punts is unlikely though C.J. Carroll is showing that even that role can’t be ruled out.
Other than a few nice returns from Der’Woun Greene last season, the Hokies haven’t had a game-changing kick returner, but Pimpleton could change that. Pimpleton also brings the toughness to try to break tackles that many smaller players would struggle to break while also being someone that if he gets the right hole, has the speed and acceleration to turn it into a huge play or a touchdown.
One big concern is how well will his speed translate to the collegiate level. Pimpleton’s success at the collegiate level will depend on whether he is the fastest player on the field consistently or not. If Pimpleton is not consistently one of the two or three fastest players on the field, the Michigan native will struggle to make an impact.
Kalil Pimpleton’s lack of size also makes the type of impact he can make fairly limited as someone who will either try to blow the top off the defense or be used on quick passes and quick screens. Pimpleton does seem to have an impressive vertical, but Pimpleton will also be going against much-better athletes at the collegiate level.
Pimpleton’s lack of size will also have fans and coaches holding their collective breaths every time he takes a significant hit. Yes, there isn’t necessarily a direct correlation between an increase in injuries when the size of a player decreases, but there definitely is a concern.
While being a very talented athlete, Pimpleton has also only played wide receiver in what seems to be offseason practices and scrimmages without pads. Pimpleton will have some adjusting to do from quarterback to wide receiver at the collegiate level though his quarterback experience could be useful in some ways. Pimpleton is also raw as a route runner, and his immediate impact could be very limited by raw route-running abilities.
Pimpleton reminds us of a blend of Willie Byrn and J.C. Coleman as someone with great speed and agility but below-average size. Pimpleton’s role seems likely to be very similar to Byrn as a slot receiver with the toughness to break some tackles though he is smaller and faster than Byrn along with being someone who could be a dangerous kick returner, similar to Coleman.
Kalil Pimpleton may only be a two-star receiver at this point, but don’t think that this speedster from Michigan can’t make an impact in Blacksburg.