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BIG JIM: Central Clarion Junior Offensive Lineman Jimmy Kerr is Already Drawing Interest From a Slew of College Football Programs

CLARION, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Jimmy Kerr has been blessed with superior size.

Even when he was younger, he was always the biggest kid on the football field in Clarion.

“Big Jim. That’s what they used to call me,” Kerr said. “I always stood out on the field. Everyone would be like, ‘Look at that big kid.’ I was always known as the big guy.”

Now 6-foot-4 and tipping the scales at nearly 300 pounds, Kerr is still one of the biggest dudes around. Can’t coach that. Have to be born with it.

But Kerr has added work ethic to go with those physical gifts, as well as a tenacity on the field that has made the junior at Clarion Area High School a standout offensive lineman for Central Clarion and already a hot commodity among college coaches.

(Pictured above, Jimmy Kerr during the District 9 Class 2A championship game/photo by Kirkland Photography)

“The fact that he’s almost 6-5 and 300 pounds certainly helps,” said Central Clarion football coach Dave Eggleton, chuckling. “I’ll be honest. You coach a lot of kids who are big like that and you don’t always see that aggression from them. It seems like it’s either/or. It’s rare to find a kid with that size and aggression to go out there and want to just dominate.”

It’s also rare to find a large human being who is as quick on his feet as Kerr.

That has been another physical gift, sure, but also one he has honed through hard work over the years.

“Not only does he have that size, he has athletic ability,” Eggleton said. “He has fantastic feet for that size. Since he was in the seventh, eighth grade, we’ve known he was a superior athlete. He’s just a great, great athletic guy. It’s rare to see that. That’s why he’s getting the looks he’s getting.”

The United States Military Academy at West Point just made him an offer.

It has shown Kerr that he’s certainly heading in the right direction.

“It’s an honor,” Kerr said. “It’s like a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing. It really means a lot, coming from a small place and really staying on top of everything. It’s a big deal.”

Kerr has some big goals to go with his big frame.

(Jimmy Kerr/photo by Kirkland Photography)

He has embarked on other college visits and has taken an active role in getting his name out there.

That isn’t always easy to do at a small co-op of three schools like Central Clarion.

“It’s early, and he still has some time, but getting an offer from an institution like West Point is just a fantastic educational opportunity, let alone the opportunity to continue to play a sport he loves,” Eggleton said.

“Honestly, if we were playing in a bigger classification or in a different conference, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was getting some bigger looks,” he added. “But unfortunately in our league, we don’t get the recognition that we would if we were playing 4A or 5A ball. If we were doing that, he may be getting even more offers.”

Kerr, though, doesn’t concern himself with that.

His belief is as long as he performs well on the field — and off of it in the classroom — people will find him.

Kerr dominates just as much when he opens the books as he does when he opens up holes for his teammates.

“Academics matter,” Kerr said. “Every coach says it. And they do mean it. Being able to stay on top of things, every assignment, every test, doing your best in school, it does matter.”

Kerr wants to study environmental science in college.

“I’ve always liked that — maybe be a game warden,” Kerr said. “I like that kind of stuff.”

Kerr is an avid hunter and also enjoys playing golf.

He was a wrestler for a time, but drifted away from that sport because of an injury. He also wanted to focus more on football.

“I really wanted to turn the switch on in me and take it to the next level,” Kerr said. “I just wanted to focus on that and put all my effort into football.”

Time is on Kerr’s side now. It won’t be soon.

“I think it’s stress free for him now,” Eggleton said. “It won’t be maybe after this football season when he’s going to have to make a decision.”

It’s a good problem to have. Kerr should have plenty of options.

The harder the choice, the better in his book.

“It’s more the enjoyment part now,” he said, chuckling. “It’s exciting. Just taking it all in and enjoying the process. I’ve been working hard. I’m a really big dude, but I’m quick. My feet are quick and I really, really practice that. I work on my hand placement and my strength. I’ve taken it seriously, and it’s really been paying off.”