Coach Nick Saban announced his decision to leave LSU on ESPN, and the Alabama fans got the anticipated Christmas present, Chris Keys to Alabama.
Keys knew as soon as he heard the news of Coach Saban heading to the NFL he was going to Alabama, but it took a couple of hours before Keys was able to get in contact with an Alabama coach. At 9:00pm Saturday night, Keys finally talked to an Alabama coach to inform him about his decision.
"I just got off the phone with Coach Ball. I asked him how his Christmas was going. He told me it was going pretty good. I said I bet I could make it a little better. I told him I am committing to Alabama. He was very, very excited about it and said he couldn't wait to tell everybody. I am taking my visit to Alabama on January 7th, and that will be the only visit that I will take," said Keys.
Keys will bring a lot of intensity to the defensive side of the ball. He is projected to play safety for the Crimson Tide.
When asked about position, Keys replied, "Help in the secondary, be a leader. I like talking to people and helping them get in the right position to make a play. I am going to play safety."
The efforts of Coach Chris Ball and Coach Mike Shula made the difference.
"Coach Shula and Coach Ball have meant a lot to me. They kept talking to
me and they knew the situation. They gave me a second option, just in case. They
let me know they were still here," replied Keys.
Having spent the past six months with Alabama commit, Ali Sharrief, Keys felt they would go their separate ways after graduation. The two have become great friends and now Tuscaloosa awaits the future Tiders.
"It's great. I did not think we would play together at all. We did not ever persuade each other to go to one school. I had to sit out this year. It was very frustrating, but it is going to be great when we get out there on the field together next year."
Keys is excited about the future for Alabama.
"Next year is going to be a great year. We have a lot of great players coming back and a lot of good new players coming in. Alabama is going to be really good for the next several years," said Keys.