Subject: Kendal Keys, WR, Helix HS (Highlanders), La Mesa, California
6’ 3” (Reported from 180-195), Rumored to have a 40 in the 4.4-4.5 range.
Interest: Received Offers from BSU, Arizona State, Oregon State, Colorado, San Diego State, and UNLV. Also saw serious interest from USC, Notre Dame, and UCLA.
Keys has great hands and shows great adjustment on the ball. It’s always fun to watch a great wide receiver leap for a catch, and the really great ones can. But, a quick read on ball trajectory allows for quicker adjustments on route running and body position relative to defenders, which can get a WR under a ball so he doesn’t have to leap. This allows a receiver to align his hips up field for yards-after-catch. Jerry Rice was legendary for this, and Keys has film illustrating this skill in spades. He makes early adjustments that keep his feet down and ready to run.
While scouts like to point out that “Keys doesn’t have elite speed,” he is still very fast. And if you’re like me, when you hear the word ‘elite’ in a scouting report, you get a little throw-up in your mouth. Keys may not have track-star speed, but he is still damn fast, and very much a deep threat. But, what scouts like about him the most is that in combination with his speed, his body size and “soft hands” give him the ability to shed the DB bump, get off the line, and shield the ball from defenders. His build and skill-set are along the lines of a Terrell Owens or Michael Irvin (6-3, 220 & 6-2, 210), only without the off-the-field baggage (not to put too much pressure on the kid, just a physical comparison). Keys has a 3.0 GPA and is said to be a very intelligent football player.
There were frequent references to his lack of blocking skills. But, sometimes once someone reports something, it tends to get mimicked from scouting report to scouting report, and I think this is just what happened to Keys. There is plenty of film showing him pancaking linebackers and safeties, so I have to disagree with that assessment, and wonder where it even came from.Perhaps the best pick up of the BSU recruiting class, Keys appears to have no glaring weaknesses. Highly recruited, keys saw interest from the likes of USC and Notre Dame, although neither offered. But, when these guys are visiting your games, you know you have some serious skills. When you add to his skills the fact that he is a great student, Keys is very exciting. He’s the type of player that has typically seen playing time as a true freshman at BSU.