UCLA has the Keyes

The talented safety from Van Nuys Birmingham, Dennis Keyes, says he's a a Bruin, after being a lifelong Trojan fan...

Dennis Keyes, 6-1, 190, Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham, has verbally committed to UCLA. The fact that Keyes was a life-long USC fan makes the commitment a big one for the Bruins.

"Yeah, I always thought I would be a Trojan," Keyes told Greg Biggins of Pac West Football. "I've been a USC fan forever but UCLA really grew on me. I knew I wanted to stay on the West and I visited both USC and UCLA multiple times."

Keyes said that the attention that UCLA showed him was significant in his decision. "I went to a camp at USC and did pretty well and afterwards, the coaches talked about offering me. They said they wanted to watch more film on me but liked what they saw. Then I went to UCLA's camp and they offered me that day.

"I went back to UCLA and took a tour of the school and really hit it off with the players and coaches. I talked to USC again and they said they still weren't ready to offer me. I just got the feeling they were slow playing me a little and UCLA was showing me a lot more love. Plus I just felt so comfortable at UCLA and felt it was the perfect environment for me."

Pac West Football has Keyes ranked as the #2 safety in the west. He has great size, at 6-1+ and 190, and very good speed, clocking one of the fastest 40 times of the day at UCLA's one-day camp in early June. He also ran for over 1,300 yards at tailback last year, earning All-CIF as well as All-State Underclass honors.

Keyes did tell Biggins that he intended to take some of his official visits, and mentioned Washington, Colorado and Arizona as schools he might visit.

"I'm just taking the visits for the fun of it, there's nothing that will get me away from UCLA," Keyes said. "I'm 100% committed to UCLA but I've always wanted to take my official visits as long as I can remember."

Keyes said he committed late last week and has gotten some good-natured ribbing from friends and family since his decision, since he was always a USC fan.

"They were teasing me because I always said I was going to USC and now I'm going to their cross-town rival," Keyes said. "That's all right, though. I know I made the best decision for me and I'm excited about it."

And what if USC offered Keyes a scholarship? "I don't look at it like I'm picking my second choice, if USC offered me tomorrow, I would still be a Bruin."

Dennis Keyes Player Profile

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