The 2018 Notre Dame class added one last receiver today when Lawrence Keys sent his letter of intent to South Bend. The 5’11”, 160-pound Louisiana speedster took an official visit in January that made a big impression on him and his mother. He had interest for a long time but couldn’t work out a visit; once he did, the Irish took the lead and never relinquished it, despite a late surge from Texas. Keys rounds out one of the better receiver classes in the country, with Kevin Austin, Braden Lenzy, and Micah Jones. Austin is a prototypical #1 receiver, Lenzy is a take-the-top-off guy, Jones is a potential red zone nightmare, and Keys is a make-you-miss slot guy.
Recruiting Service Rankings
247 Sports Composite — 4 star (.9026), #285 overall, #47 position, #10 in LA
247 Sports — 3 star (88 rating), #469 overall, #77 position, #16 in LA
Rivals — 3 star (5.7 rating), NR overall, NR position, #22 in LA
ESPN — 4 star (83 rating), #150 overall, #21 position, #4 in LA
In addition to Notre Dame and Texas, Lawrence Keys held offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Vandy, among others.
Keys shows a solid all-around game. Opposing coordinators won’t have to plan around his straight line speed, but he can be pesky. He shows good hands, catching everything easily away from his body. He’s fearless in traffic, especially given his slight build. He has above average agility and balance, which lets him take advantage of poor tackling technique in the open field. He needs to work on his route running, which can be a bit uneven; I saw a few patterns on this tape that he rounded off or just kind of drifted through. Not unusual for a high school kid, and something that should be easy to work on.
Keys will most likely redshirt in 2018, which will give him a chance to add some much-needed bulk. He doesn’t need to go crazy, but I don’t think he can make an impact at the next level at 160 pounds. Going forward, I’d expect him to have a special teams role in 2019 and possibly work into the receiver rotation in 2020, after the current rising juniors have moved on. As noted above he’s a great complement to the other receivers in this class, and at worst should be a situational contributor. If he can add some size and improve his straight line speed a bit, his ceiling will rise accordingly.
Welcome to the Irish family, Lawrence!