Lawrence Keys III has certain tools that can’t be taught.
The third-ranked wide receiver in Louisiana boasts one of the most impressive season highlight films in his class. Keys is slight in his build but possesses big-play ability with his elite speed and intangibles.
As a result, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound talent has rounded up 33 offers, which include Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Notre Dame.
Notre Dame offered the explosive junior on February 23 and has kept on him since.
“They have been contacting me,” Keys III said. “Ever since they offered me, I’ve been keeping in contact with coach (DelVaughn Alexander) and building a relationship. He’s a really great coach, knows my film, knows what I can do and he really want me to do it at Notre Dame.”
What makes Keys a nightmare to defend is his versatility. He proves to be highly productive from the backfield, slot and wide receiver position. This allows him to attack defenses in a number of ways, which demands a lot of attention.
That being said, many college coaches have him narrowed down to one position.
“In high school, I prefer to play the slot, but my coach has me mostly playing the outside,” Keys said. “I know a lot of college coaches are recruiting me to play in the inside because of my quickness and speed, agility, my hands and catch the ball and get up the field. So, in college I’m looking to be a slot receiver.”
Keys also provides McDonogh 35 High School with a dangerous return man.
“That too,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter, but coach (Alexander) told me I can do a lot of things. Even if they need me on defense, I’ll play defense. Kick return, punt return, I’m a specialist at that so that’s why they have me back there.”
Notre Dame is one of many college football programs seeking his signature.
“Lately, it’s been Houston, Texas Tech, Notre Dame, Colorado State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, UTSA, TCU, a lot of schools,” Keys said.
Keys has visited campuses in neighbouring states but has yet to venture to the Midwest.
“Last Wednesday, I went up to Bama to watch one of their practices,” he said. “I don’t have any more plans as of right now. Maybe next week something will probably come up.”
The Louisiana talent is working on a plan to visit South Bend to meet the Irish coaches face to face and see what the program has to offer.
“I just have to talk to my coaches and my parents and actually schedule it and see what’s the best time for me to get out there,” Keys said. “It may be before my senior season because I might get a chance to get up there in the summer. I never have been up there.”
All things considered, the Irish are currently situated high on his list. Keys feels comfortable with the current staff and the opportunity presented him.
“They’re sitting in a good spot right now,” Keys said. “I’m building a good relationship with the coaches. I really like what they’re talking about right now. I got a chance to talk with coach (Chip) Long, the offensive coordinator. He’s really excited about me and he’s committed to me also and I just can’t wait to get up there.”
Keys is impressed with Notre Dame’s new man running the offense. The cumulative recruiting effort appears to be paying dividends.
“(Long) is a great coach,” he said. “He actually hits me up every once in a while to see how I’m doing, see how school’s going, how my grades are, he’s just keeping in touch with me.”
A Notre Dame degree is appealing to Keys. Education is will play a role in his final decision.
“That’s another reason why they are sitting so good with me, the academics,” Keys said. “That’s the first thing I asked coach. Academics come first and that’s something that I’m really serious about. I was planning on studying Sports Management.”
Brian Kelly continues to mention that he craves dynamic speed for his offense. Keys has plenty. It’s all part of the reason why the Irish made this Louisiana prospect one of their first visits during the spring evaluation period.