The bio in the 2016 Oklahoma State football media guide is not very lengthy. Marcus Keyes is a redshirt freshman. The guide says, "competed as a tackle on the scout team while redshirting as a true freshman."
What a difference a year makes. Last August, Keyes showed signs of being good enough to play and he did get some time with the varsity offensive line before going to do some scout team duty. This past spring he showed he had jumped it up a notch. A year ago the roster showed him at 6-4, 280 pounds. I'm not quite sure how he shrunk and inch but he is now listed at 6-3 and a robust 300 pounds. "Body by Glass" at work again.
"I think I'm very ready," Keyes said. "All the time I had last year that I took off (as a redshirt), I have grown more mature and become really adept at understanding defenses and what we can do to them as an offensive line. Coach Glass pushes us, not just physically but mentally in the weight room to become a bigger and stronger player."
The guide does clear up some things that might lead us to think that Keyes could be ready earlier than usual. Blood-lines or pedigree, as head coach Mike Gundy said on Media Day on Saturday, are important in horse racing and most other sports. If you come from good athletes then the chances are better that you might be a good athlete too. Keyes is the son of Denise Smith and his father, Tyrone Keyes, played on the defensive line in the NFL for the Chicago Bears.
Keyes played both offense and defense in high school at Port Allen, La., and after being committed to Louisiana he made a late switch to Oklahoma State despite offers from Missouri, Houston, and Louisiana Tech.
He told me that even before playing a down at Oklahoma State the school has lived up to his expectations. It helps that red beans and rice, his favorite dish from home and in the entire world, are on the training table and he gives it a thumbs up rating.
Now in the last couple of days he has made the switch from left tackle to left guard and has moved up to first team. So far, so good as it is working about as well as those red beans and rice work on the training table, pretty darn good.