Insider Exclusive: Q&A with FS Dennis Keyes

Dusty Wittig continues his interview with UCLA safety Dennis Keyes, this time for Insiders only as Keyes answers some in-depth questions. When did he know he was destined for the NFL? What weaknesses is he working on improving? Which All Pro safety is he studying closely? Find out all of the answers inside this exclusive Q&A feature.

Dustin Wittig: When did you did you realize you had the potential to become an NFL player?

Dennis Keyes: I realized I had the potential once I started playing college. In my sophomore year I got my first start for UCLA, and as the season progressed I realized I had the opportunity to better myself to get to the next level.

DW: Being invited to the combine must have been a great honor for you. How was that whole experience?

DK: It was fun just to get out there with all of the guys and have the opportunity to perform in front of the coaches. It was tiring and they were long days, but a great honor and fun.

DW: What is the biggest challenge you will face in NFL ball that you didn't have to deal with in college?

FS Dennis Keyes
Stephen Dunn/Getty

DK: Going up against the best of the best that the game has to offer is going to be the biggest challenge. You got to be prepared every week to face the best competition there is.

DW: What are some things you are looking to improve on to become successful in the NFL?

DK: I need to continue learning by talking to vets, taking notes from them, seeing how they study. It's not so much about how athletic you are because at this level everyone is athletic; it's about how smart you are.

DW: What current or former pro would you say you could be compared to?

DK: I don't know. I don't see myself following any direct pattern from a direct individual. I like to take pieces here and there from different players like Brian Dawkins and Ed Reed. I just like to take little pieces and add them to my game.

DW: How have you and secondary coach Teryl Austin gotten along?

DK: We haven't had too much time together, but he's a real cool guy and very good coach. He is very personable and a guy you could talk to.

DW: What is your first NFL Paycheck going towards?

DK: I got to pay my bills.

Click here for the rest of this interview, where Keyes talks about reaching his goals, learning from a former Bruin and more.

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