LOGAN, Utah – Never too high, never too low. That’s the philosophy Kevin Whimpey has. It is a mentality that he applies to life both on and off the football field. It keeps him level, focused and driven to the success he is constantly seeking.
“All I can do is live every day with as little stress as possible and just do my job. If I do that, things are going to work out like they need to,” Whimpey said. “When the going gets tough, when you’re at practice for what feels like 20 hours a day, seven days a week, when you’ve got two-a-days and it’s hot outside, am I going to be that guy that shies away or am I going to be the guy that attacks his assignment? I’m the guy that lowers my head, doesn’t care about the hype or the noise, I’m just going to do my job every day.”
Whimpey didn’t take the most direct route to Utah State, but once he was here, he gave it all that he could. He graduated from Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah at the age of 17 and still had some time before leaving on a two-year LDS Church Mission. After initial conversations with Gary Andersen while he was at Utah, Whimpey and his twin brother Kyle decided the best option was to start their careers at Idaho State with the intent of transferring to Utah when they got home. Upon their return, Andersen had made his way to Logan as the Aggies head coach and the Whimpey’s followed.
Now, three years later, Whimpey is often jokingly referred to as “Grandpa,” as he is one of the oldest and most experienced players on the team. The experience he carries is especially important this year, as he is the only returning starter on the offensive line.
“One of the biggest things I bring is game-time experience. I can help educate the young guys that I’m playing with as to how things are going to happen in games,” Whimpey said. “With this young group, we need to practice full-speed all day, every day. It’s the only way we’re going to be able to get into game shape.”
Throughout his career, Whimpey has learned to apply the never too high, never too low attitude. It is something he has tried to bring into his life and the locker room, instilling it in his younger teammates’ minds.
“When I was a young offensive lineman, I really felt like you needed the loud music to get jacked up and juiced for games. Playing offensive line is a completely different animal from playing defensive line. You can’t be too high emotionally and you can’t be too low. You have to be consistent. I tell them to listen to soft music, or nothing at all. Just lay back in the locker room, close your eyes and think about what you need to do to get the job done. That way, when you play in front of 100,000 people, it’s not a big deal,” Whimpey said.
As the sole returner from last season’s line, Whimpey has taken his role as a leader seriously, something that the coaching staff takes note of.
“Kevin is a great leader,” said offensive line coach Mark Weber. “He’s unbelievable that way. He’s smart, he knows the offense, he’s strong. He brings a lot to this offense. He has a lot of personality, a lot of confidence and a lot of knowledge.”
Even though he’s married and has a baby on the way, Whimpey is willing to put in the work and effort required to see success on the field.
“To be a leader on the offensive line, especially when you have four new positions, you have to be open and willing to spend all day if you have to at the stadium. Our offensive line has bought in. They want to spend time at the facility. I’m not going to be that old, married guy that’s detached from the group,” he said. “We spend a lot of time working together on our technique and on the X’s and O’s. We put in a ton of extra time as a unit so that it wouldn’t be ‘Holy cow, there’s four new guys.’”
The offensive line is put in place to protect the quarterback. At Utah State, Chuckie Keeton is the one behind the line, with his eyes on a successful and healthy season. Whimpey takes his role as the protector seriously and wants to do whatever he can to help Keeton.
“I take pride in trying to help Chuckie meet his goals. He’s been injured two of the years that he’s been here, so I want him to achieve everything that he has his mind set on. He can only do that if all five of us are blocking for each other. He wants us to achieve our goals, in turn. He has to throw the ball; he has to be accurate and spend time in meetings. It’s a continuous cycle that helps us care for one another. That’s what builds our chemistry and what takes the nervousness out of the game. He knows I have his back, and I know he’s going to throw the deep ball for a touchdown. We just go.”
After three years as an Aggie, Whimpey has grown to love Utah State and Cache Valley. His college degree, his football career, his wife and child are all results of the love he has developed for Logan.
“I’m from Utah County where there are a ton of people and a ton of BYU fans. When we first drove up here, it was winter and everyone was at home. I didn’t love it. But as I’ve been here and experienced Cache Valley and everything it has to offer, I can see myself living here. I love it here,” he said. “When I’m here, I feel like I’m at home. When I go to Utah County, all I want to do is get back to Cache Valley. Not only has Utah State grown on me, this football program has. I would die for it.”
Whimpey graduated with an interdisciplinary studies degree last May and is currently pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in animal, dairy and veterinary sciences. Like most collegiate football players, he hopes to have a future in the NFL, but has the eventual intention of working in sales or marketing.
Regardless of the future that awaits Kevin Whimpey, you can be assured he will never get too high or too low.
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