While a lot of people are looking forward to the first major college games of the season on Thursday night, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College defensive back Josh Keys is not one of them because he'll be busy.
Keys (6-2, 175, 4.4) - who Arkansas is recruiting as a free safety - and the Bulldogs will actually be opening their season on Thursday as well when they host Coahoma.
MGCC actually has eight of its nine scheduled regular season games on Thursday nights.
"It's exciting to be getting the season starts and it's pretty cool that we have so many of this Thursday night games," Keys said. "It gives us a chance to not only take in some college football on TV on Saturdays, but also allows us to make official visits on the weekends."
Keys, who has over 20 offers, has already set up his visit to Arkansas for the weekend of Sept. 27-29 and has plans to set up ones with Georgia and Oklahoma State.
"I am definitely going to go to those three places – Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma State - and I pretty sure I will pick out two other places – maybe Auburn and Kansas State - to visit before I make my decision," Keys said. "I just want to get a really good feel for the places before making my decision.
"I have to make the right decision and it has to be a place I can make an immediate impact," Keys added. "Being a junior college guy, I have to go to a place that I can get on the field right away."
Keys, a former Seminary (Miss.) High, is high on new Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema, Razorback defensive coodinator Chris Ash and defensive quality control coach Brian Early.
"I love Arkansas since they have added Coach B and Ash," Keys said. "They are telling me that they want somebody that can come in and make an impact right away in the secondary. They want me to come down and visit and let them show off all the new facilities and see a game. They tell me they are creating something special there and they want me to be a part of it.
"I also really love talking to Coach Early, who is a cool guy who lets me know about anything I need to know about Arkansas," Keys added. "I talked to the Arkansas coaches every week and we have a fantastic relationship."
Ash made a trip to Perkinston, Miss., this spring to see Keys, who also has offers Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Tennessee among many others.
"Coach Ash really made a big impression on me by coming down here this spring and basically getting in on my recruiting early," Keys said. "I really like how he talks the game and you can really tell you know what he is doing."
Keys, who is on schedule to graduate in December and will have three years to play two, takes pride in both his coverage ability and his hitting ability.
He had 41 tackles and an interception as a freshman cornerback, but will be playing free safety for MGCCC this season.
"I really think my biggest strength is how I can just lock down receivers because of my height and my speed," Keys said. "I also love to make big hits, but the rules are really trying to take that away from us. I understand the safety concerns, but I think you are know going to have more leg and knee injuries because people are going to be so worried about going up high now."
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