I am most grateful for my wife and daughter. They mean absolutely everything to me. —Kevin Whimpey
LOGAN — In a season of Thanksgiving, Kevin Whimpey is counting his blessings.
"I am most grateful for my wife and daughter," said the 6-foot-5, 300-pound student athlete and returned LDS missionary. "They mean absolutely everything to me."
The Utah State senior's world currently revolves around being an anchor on the Aggies' offensive line, studying as college student, serving as a clerk in his LDS ward, spending time with his wife and, as of late October, helping care for the couple's newborn daughter, Ivy.
Less than an hour after Utah State's hard-fought, 28-21 win over New Mexico on Nov. 15, Whimpey was cradling his tiny baby daughter in his massive arms. Little Ivy was wearing a brown onesie with white threads down the middle like a football. With her father's ball security skills, there was zero chance of a fumble.
"He's an awesome dad," said Shaylee Whimpey, Kevin's wife. "He's really cute and tender with her. He's a natural."
Ivy's original due date was Oct. 28, which would have conflicted with Utah State's game in Hawaii. The Whimpeys stressed about this, but they were grateful when the baby was delivered a week earlier. Witnessing the birth of his daughter changed his life, Kevin Whimpey said.
"Having Ivy in our lives has really brought us closer together as a family and has given me a whole new perspective on life," he said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to be her father."
Whimpey claims he was not phased by the first dirty diaper he encountered.
"Easy," he said. "... not a big deal."
After a long day of school and football, Whimpey's favorite activity is singing to his baby girl.
"I'm pretty monotone, but I sing to her," Whimpey said. "She loves 'I Am a Child of God' and 'Families Can Be Together Forever.' I'm working on my singing voice."
After serving missions in California for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kevin and his twin brother, Kyle Whimpey, played together on Utah State's offensive line in 2012 and part of 2013 before Kyle suffered a career-ending knee injury.
A three-year starter, Kevin Whimpey came into the 2014 season as the leader of the offensive line. What many people may not know is that he had never played the position before coming to Logan. Whimpey said he had always played defensive end in high school and for a short stint at Idaho State.
"There was a transition, but now that I've made that transition, it's the only position I'd want to play," said Whimpey, who experts say has NFL potential. "I love this spot."
The Aggies could end the season with 10 or more wins, a great accomplishment for any college football team. Even so, Whimpey would love to end his career at Utah State with a Mountain West Conference championship. With one game to go in the regular season, Utah State needs help for this to happen.
"I want to win a championship, so whatever has to transpire for that to happen, (I'm hoping for)," Whimpey said.
So how does Whimpey balance football, school, church and family responsibilities? It hasn't been that rough, he said.
First, Whimpey graduated with his degree last spring, which has made his academic life less hectic.
Second, he credits Shaylee, a former Aggie cheerleader, with doing a good job on the homefront.
"(The baby) hasn't kept us up late, at least me anyway," Whimpey said while smiling at his wife. "Shaylee is very understanding of the time commitment that it takes to fulfill my responsibilities. She's a great mother, wife and, of course, my best friend."
On Sundays, Whimpey serves as clerk in the Logan River 2nd Ward. He is able to attend most meetings and handle his responsibilities.
"We're coming up on tithing settlement," Whimpey said with a grin. "I can delegate to the other clerks."
All joking aside, Whimpey doesn't shy away from hard work. He learned from his father, David Whimpey, at a young age that it's important to be dependable and do a quality job. That's how he tackles any assignment in any aspect of his life.
"Always keep your head down, always work hard, never give up," Whimpey said.
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