"They said they might try me at receiver, but they're loaded at receiver," the 6'1", 186-pound Keyes laughed. "At my home school, it was all about tradition, more like a family. When I came up here (Marshall), I experienced the same thing. A winning tradition, and everybody's like a big family in this town."
Keyes was heavily recruited by Mississsippi and Mississipi State, but found himself undecided late in the signing period. After a sold performance in the Mississippi North-South All Star game during the summer, Keyes became highly desirable to Marshall's coaching staff.
"Mississippi State was going to offer him, and Southern Miss. We had some film on him, and really liked him," said Marshall offensive line coach Mark McHale, who recruited Keyes. "He's going to turn into a big youngster. We're real excited about him. He runs well, has good times. We just feel like we've got a good athlete. Not only that, but he's a good student."
Keyes is almost speechless when asked about suddenly finding himself a member of the #21 team in the US, just months removed from high school football. "I can't put it into words," Keyes said. "It makes me feel very lucky. They could have chose anybody. I'm just very lucky to get this scholarship."
Keyes brought his mom, Diane, and two brothers with him on Monday, to see Marshall Stadium and where he will call home for the next four or five years. The experiece was one that he wanted them to have. "I think they're fairly impressed with the facilities," Keyes summed up.
With only two days to practice with the other freshmen, transfers, and walk-ons, Keyes is a little nervous about lining up with the starters on the Marshall squad come Thursday. "When you're a competitor, you get real anxious. Playing defensive back, you're going against the best in the nation (MU's wide receivers)," Keyes added. "I really look forward to seeing where I stand on a college basis. I'm fairly nervous about that. There's a big jump from high school to college."