Arden Key announces his commitment to LSU https://t.co/0qbhIJ0Diu— Hunter Paniagua (@HunterPaniagua) February 3, 2015
This quotes in this story were gathered during an in-person interview conducted by Scout's Chad Simmons.
LSU picked up a huge commitment Monday night when defensive end Arden Key announced his decision on Fox Sports South.
Key was the top defensive end target on LSU's board. A four-star prospect, Key ranks as the No. 9 player nationally at his position and No. 105 overall. He becomes the Tigers' 21st commit in the 2015 class and the second defensive end, joining Edna Karr's Isaiah Washington.
LSU beat South Carolina for his commitment. He had previously committed to — and decommitted from — the Gamecocks on two separate occasions. Now it will be the Tigers that receive his signature on Wednesday.
“It’s a better program," Key said of LSU. "I feel I have a better opportunity at going to LSU and making it where I want to be in the next three or four years.”
Key visited LSU for the first time in July, when he spent several days in Baton Rouge. He returned for the Alabama game in November. He was committed to South Carolina on both of those visits, but he decommitted for the final time in early January.
He returned to Baton Rouge the weekend of Jan. 16, his first opportunity to spend a significant time around Ed Orgeron. Brick Haley had previously led his recruitment, but Orgeron picked up where he left off and made Key one of the first recruits he visited as an LSU coach.
That effort by Orgeron played a large part in Key's decision.
"Ed Orgeron was recruiting me since the 10th grade, but he sat out that 11th grade year," Key said. "Now he’s back on me. I fell in love with LSU when I went down there that first time...[Orgeron] was big because he has a lot of people in the NFL. He actually coached in the NFL and for a lot of teams, so he has a lot of knowledge with the defensive line.”
The chance to play for Les Miles also contributed.
“It’s going to be a cool three to four years of my life," Key said. "Because Coach Miles is laid back, cool and goofy, but he knows how to get on you.”
Key informed the LSU coaches during an in-home visit last week, which is why he canceled this past weekend's official visit to Auburn.
“They were fired up, hugging me, jumping on me," Key said of the LSU coaches. "It was like we were having a party.”
Now he gets to officially celebrate the big news.
“It’s a blessing," Key said. "That’s all I can say.”