Overview: Lawrence Keys is a red-shirt senior who is an offensive lineman. He started off his college career at Catawba College before transferring to North Carolina Pembroke. He has great athleticism and a good football I.Q.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lawrence, during which time he told me more about his background, his personality and his overall love for football.
C: For the people who do not know your story, how did you wind up choosing University Of North Carolina Pembroke?
LK: Out of high school, I had division one looks but academics were holding me back. My SAT scores weren’t high enough to go to Old Dominion which is where I was originally going to attend. I didn’t qualify before signing day. They offered me to go the JUCO route but D-II schools were still interested and I thought that they would find you no matter what school you come from. I signed with Catawba College because they had a couple of D1 transfers and pro guys that came out of there and I wanted to be apart of it. It was a good atmosphere, but I didn’t like the coaching staff when I got there my freshman year and knew that the head coach would be leaving there as well. I transferred right after my freshman year. I didn’t have the credits to go to UNC Pembroke because of me trying to transfer to a public university coming out of a private college, so I had to stay home for the fall. I had a job working at a costume shop standing on a corner wearing an gumby outfit while holding up a sign asking people to come to our store. I than had to pay my gym fees at D1 Sports and I went to a community college to get gain more credits. That following spring I came to UNC Pembroke and the rest is history.
C: How do you plan on making yourself stand out and noticed by NFL scouts?
LK: My athleticism and quickness will catch a lot of scouts eyes and of course watching my film noticing how an 6’2 Center was able to play tackle and have great feet to mirror them off the edge.
C: What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
LK: My strengths are my athleticism, balance, pass pro, and ability to get the second level. My weakness is me getting too hard myself but that’s mainly because I try not to waste any opportunity that’s given to me.
C: What separates you from the other players at your position?
LK: My speed and athleticism for my size I feel that can really help me out a lot when it comes to scouts evaluating me.
C: Which current or former NFL player do you think you resemble and why?
LK: Eric Kush because when he was coming out of Cal. PA he was a very good zone blocker, athletic and a good pass protector.
C: Who is the toughest player you’ve ever faced in your college career?
LK: I would have to say Michael Bloomfield from Winston Salem State it was my first start at tackle and let’s just say I had my hands full that game.
C: When did you first fall in love with playing football?
LK: I fell in love with the game in middle school. Growing up I would play pick up tackling football with kids in my neighborhood and I loved it since then.
C: How do you prepare for game day? Do you have any game day rituals?
LK: Before the game starts I always turn to the bleachers and say a prayer before the game thanking the lord for an opportunity to play college football and to have a great game.
C: What is the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach has ever said to you in your college career?
LK: I have two my Redshirt freshman year at UNC Pembroke I had to sit out due to coming to Pembroke from Catawba and I just remembered my tight ends coach, Coach Gibson (rest in peace) telling me that their wasn’t a great man that he knew that didn’t have to deal with adversity so don’t get down about what’s going on now you have a blessing coming ahead just wait and I stuck with that throughout my whole career. My second one would be my offensive line coach Cody Kennedy telling me that “success isn’t earned it is leased and rent is due everyday”.
C: What should people reading this interview know about you?
LK: I’m a player that has dealt with a lot of adversity in life but it didn’t stop me from chasing my goals. I’m blessed to be able to have the college career that I had and now I’m ready to take all my hard work and showcase it to the world.
Locker Room Update would like to thank Lawrence Keys for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him the best of luck as he continues his journey as a 2017 professional football player.
You can check out his highlights here.
Follow him on Twitter: @lrk3
Christa is a syndicated New York Jets beat writer and acts as the primary talent scout for Locker Room Update, where she interviews college football players from around the nation. You can follow her author page on Facebook here for the latest updates.