MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — It was always a dream for Kalil Pimpleton to put on the Muskegon Big Reds football uniform and take the field at Hackley Stadium.
"I played football growing up in Muskegon and going to that football game on Friday man, we watched the Big Reds and the next day [when we played] we wanted to be just like them," Pimpleton said.
That dream came true and then some when he burst onto the scene in the fall of 2015 and following it up with a standout senior year, recording 2,800 yards and 43 total touchdowns in the 2016 season.
"It's all about your grit," Pimpleton said on his mindset, "how you're going to handle a situation, are you going to let it bring you down or you going to take the situation and learn from it and build on it."
He would sign with Virginia Tech out of high school before transferring to Central Michigan after his freshman season.
After sitting out in 2018, 'KP' found success in 2019 with 894 yards receiving and six touchdowns leading to All-MAC First Team honors.
He would then add over 400 total yards in the COVID shortened six-game season in 2020 for the Chips and has been dynamic in every way possible - as a wideout, returner, even in the wildcat formation and running the ball out of the backfield.
"I don't believe that there's anyone else out there working harder than me," he added, "so the man across from me, I don't think he's working harder than me, I'm going to put more faith in my work than his."
While he's listed at five-foot-nine on the Chippewas roster, Pimpleton isn't shy about being honest.
"I'm five-seven," he smiled, "but it's heart over height, that's what Coach [Shane] Fairfield will tell you that was my motto in high school, just have more heart. It's not about the size of the dog it's about the size of the fight."
Pimpleton, along with Muskegon teammate and current Chippewa teammate JaCorey Sullivan, continue to inspire the Big Red players behind them.
"[It means everything] just to have those young guys in Muskegon looking up to us. I got a text from a younger guy at the high school today asking when I was coming back to get some work in and I'm down for that any time, it doesn't even have to be a Big Red but any kid from Muskegon that wants to work, we can do that because I know he may have dreams and aspirations of being somewhere where I am today."
NFL Scouts continue to keep tabs on Pimpleton ahead of his junior season as the Chippewas kick off their 2021 campaign at Missouri on September 4.