The Key to a Strong Recruiting Class

<p>Aiona Key visited Idaho in December and decided a week later that he didn't need to take any further visits, and that he would bring his considerable talents to the Blue.</p><p>Then the Pac-10 came calling and another offer was made and a visit requested.. so where did that leave the 6'3 195lb WR/FS's commitment to Boise State?</p>


Photo: Sacramento Bee/Florence Low
Aiona calls himself a 'weekend jumper',
even though he has had California's best
HS High Jump at 7' last  season.
Mike Maynard.. are you reading this?

Key (6'3 195) is the younger brother of Idaho State's Sale Key. Aiona had 583 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns (not including the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs) his Senior season. He also starred on defense, being named to multiple post-season 1st Team Defensive teams.

And as if his football prowress weren't enough, Aiona also holds the Capitol Athletic League's all-time record in the high jump at 6'10, and has cleared over 7' during his HS career.'s Chris Fetters recently spoke with Aiona's Football Coach, Ron Barney about Key and his abilities.

"He's got all the tools," Barney said of Key. "He runs a legit 4.6. He high jumped 7 feet as a sophomore, the number-one mark in the state at that time. He's got great leaping ability, makes great plays. He plays with a lot of heart, hits like a truck - he does everything."

With those attributes, why hasn't Key been more of a high-profile recruit? "There's been some things, like his SAT not being too high," Barney said. "Also he ran a 4.7 at a combine, and he runs faster than that. I've heard coaches say they weren't sure about his speed. But he's a lot quicker than what he did at the combine."

Barney feels Aiona will not have a problem qualifying. "He's on the edge of it," Barney said of Key's SAT score. "He's retaking the test and he doesn't need to do a whole lot better. He doesn't need much."

According to Barney, Key caught 37 passes for over 600 yards and 9 touchdowns. "He can play either way, but I would use him as an offensive player because he's phenomenal," Barney said. "He has an ability to make plays that not a lot of other players have."

At the time they spoke, Barney said that Aiona would be visiting Washington, (with an offer in hand), but that the date hadn't been confirmed. "It's supposed to be sometime this month," he said.

Now, word comes down from Seattle, (once again through's Chris Fetters), that Washington has bowed out of the race, citing a lack of scholarships for their sudden about-face.

That leaves Key with still only 1 visit taken, (Boise State), and 1 much more solid commitment to the Broncos. Key's recruitment could still be an issue, however, as he reportedly still has offers from various other schools, including other Pac-10 teams. 

Standing in the way of other teams getting into the picture, however, is the lateness of the recruiting period, and the fact that setting up a visit won't be easy giving Key's hectic schedule. He is currently starring for the Mesa Verde Mavericks Basketball team.  He is the Mavericks version of Bronco Senior Jason Ellis, providing superior athleticism, and an element of maturity and leadership, apart from his talents, that his team depends on.

It is that Key element, (bad pun, sorry), that makes Aiona such a pivotal recruit for the Broncos 2005 Recruiting Class.

BroncoCountry will keep an eye on Key with the hopes of reporting nothing but his continued commitment to the Broncos.

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