Kentucky Star

Christian County head football coach Mike Whitaker had Kentucky great Tim Couch in high school, but he admits it would be hard to choose between the all-time passing record holder and his current star, Keith Tandy.

Tandy, who committed to West Virginia on Wednesday, is an outstanding quarterback and defensive back that Whitaker deploys all over the field.

"He plays cornerback and safety on defense, wherever we need him," Whitaker told BlueGoldNews.com. "He is a hitter back there – very strong. He has an athletic build, but he's stronger than he looks. He also has great leaping ability.

"On offense, he is one of the top 10 passers in the state, and holds all of Christian County's passing records. He has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and passed for more than 3,000, and he also runs back kicks for us in big games. He's a straight A student, and a tremendous leader on the field."

That's only about half the story on Tandy, however. As good as his athletic skills are, Whitaker believes the mental side of his game may be just as good.

"He's super intelligent. He is a great decision maker, and makes plays out of the pocket, similar to Patrick White at West Virginia. In three years, he has just 16 interceptions. He's also humble and quiet. He is a lead by example guy, and just a tremendous athlete.

Tandy is very familiar with West Virginia and its offensive system, having run a very similar spread offense for Whitaker over the past three years. Whitaker has used elements of Rich Rodriguez' spread offense, as well as those of the Bowden family, at Christian County, and Tandy proved very adept at melding his skills into those sets.

Although Tandy has piled up impressive numbers on offense, including 88 touchdown passes over his three-year career, he's likely slated for cornerback at West Virginia. Whitaker thinks, in the end, that defensive back might be his best position.

"He can be a great corner in Division I, no question. He is aggressive, and he will hit you. I think that will be his best position. He has long arms for his height, and has very good hands."

That last attribute leads Whitaker to believe that Tandy could also be an excellent wide receiver in college. Add in his kick return skills, and it's clear Tandy has the type of talent that West Virginia is looking for at more than one position. The first, and most important of those, however, are those aggressive coverage skills at cornerback, which is where Tandy is expected to begin his college career.

As is often the case with its commitments, West Virginia got in on Tandy early, offering him after his junior year at Christian County. In beating other schools, such as Kentucky, to the punch (the Wildcats didn't offer until midway through his senior season), WVU earned Tandy's interest and trust.

"I thought West Virginia did a great job in recruiting him," Whitaker said. "They were in on him early, and that carried a lot of weight with him. When he got back from his visit to West Virginia, he told me that was where he wanted to be. He didn't commit because he had promised Kentucky that he wouldn't until he visited there, but it was clear that he liked West Virginia the best."

NOTES

Tandy's athletic skills make him a star in three sports for Christian County. He is an outstanding baseball player, and is also a star performer on the basketball court, where he was nominated for the McDonald's All-America team.

"If he ran track, he'd be great there too," said Whitaker with a laugh. "Football is his best sport, but he is good at those other sports because he is such a tremendous athlete."

* * *

With the commitment, WVU adds a corner to its growing stable of verbals, but the Mountaineers likely are not done at the position yet. Several talented defensive backs remain on West Virginia's list, and there will be at least one or two more added before Signing Day in February.


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