Kentucky Football: Dane Key commitment major Yahtzee for Wildcats

Frederick Douglass' Dane Key
Frederick Douglass' Dane Key /

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops rolled a major Yahtzee on Thursday when Dane Key announced his commitment to the Wildcats.

Key is the highest-rated receiver to sign to play for Stoops and should help bolster a position that Kentucky has struggled of late to find a true standout and add much-needed depth.

His commitment keeps an impressive hometown pipeline of stud players from Fredrick Douglass staying home in Lexington and donning Wildcat blue.

Dane Key stays home and signs to play Kentucky football where dad played

In an exciting cafeteria at Fredrick Douglas, there were five collegiate hats to choose from Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina, Western Kentucky, and Kentucky.

He picked up and up the blue one and placed it on his head and then spoke to the media about his selection.

"“It’s just where I felt at home. They did a great job of recruiting me. It’s just home.”"

Key will join fellow four-star Bronco standouts now on the Kentucky roster from last year’s class in wide-receiver Dekel Crowdus and offensive guard Jager Burton.

The newest Cat said he will most be excited to play with is Crowdus.

Speculation and the focus by Kentucky football coaches to get Key to remain in Kentucky has been on for quite some time. It was new offensive coordinator Liam Coen’s first priority when he arrived.

Key is the son of former Wildcat Donte Key and little brother of former Western Kentucky standout and now Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Devon Key.

Donte Key has been the inside linebackers coach at Franklin Douglass since 2017. He played for Bill Curry in 1993 and 1994.

Devon Key holds the Western Kentucky record for most tackles with 344 as a defensive back and four-year starter.

Only mom, dad, Devon, and Stoops were aware of the final decision he made between 1 to 2 weeks ago.

Stoops and the Kentucky coaches were in constant contact with him and the coach discussed that after UK’s Thursday practice and before Key’s announcement with the focus on upgrading the wide receiver position.

"“We feel the presence of picking up our recruiting at the wide receiver position. We have to. Let’s not kid ourselves. I know that, I’ve addressed it. We have to get better at that position."

Kentucky’s new offense has been tremendously better and more wide-open than its traditional rush first, throw some philosophy. Coen, who Stoops went and grabbed from the LA Rams, has really opened up the playbook and players like Key can thrive and be excited about.

Key said that was one of the big reasons for his selection.

"“Their new offense is definitely what got me over there. Coach Coen, he’s got something special. We’ve got it going over there.”"

Key has been a standout for Fredrick Douglas

This season after eight games (actually, only six as two have been by forfeit), Key has pulled down 31 catches for 501 yards and five touchdowns. He would have higher numbers if not for the fact that the Broncos ranked No. 4 in Class 6A have outscored the opposition 284-27.

With all those blowouts he hasn’t really been needed that much this season to help secure wins just big fast leads.

When asked what kind of receiver Big Blue Nation will see and what his future teammates will be getting Key had a simple answer.

"“They gonna be getting a dog that’s all I know. They are getting a receiver that’s going to go make plays. Why a dog because that is just how I feel like I play.”"

A big dog is what the Kentucky football team may need should Wan’Dale Robinson decide to leave after this season, but quarterback Will Levis will be getting a great new target to look for in Key.

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