July 1, 2002

Free Preview: UCLA Lands Dennis Keyes

The Bruins landed one of the best defensive backs on the West Coast when Dennis Keyes (6-1, 180, 4.5) from Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham committed to the Bruins over the weekend.

"UCLA has a good atmosphere, a great campus and I liked the guys I met on the team," Keyes said. "UCLA is close to home and the Bruins have a great tradition."

"Part of the reason I chose UCLA is their excellent track record of sending their defensive backs to the NFL," Keyes said.

Why the early decision? "I wanted to get it over before my senior season, so I could concentrate on my senior year and not have to worry about what college I was going to," Keyes said. "UCLA made feel at home and part of the Bruin family."

The Bruins get an exceptional player who could easily follow suit as another great defensive back for the Bruins. Keyes brings a lot of athleticism to the table. He has recorded an outstanding 35-inch vertical jump and competed in the state meet in track.

A standout on both sides of the ball, Keyes rushed for 1,088 yards and scored over 20 touchdowns. One the defensive side of ball, Keyes recorded over 60 tackles and had 4 interceptions.

Keyes was an all-city, all-area and all-league selection for the last two years.

In an earlier interview Birmingham head coach Ed Crosson said, "Dennis is a very versatile player. He has played seven different positions on defense for us. Dennis has played two different defensive line positions, all three linebacker spots as well as corner and safety."

Keyes will likely end up at safety for the Bruins, but corner is also an option.

The Bruins won this recruiting derby over offers from Cal, Oregon State, Washington, and Colorado. The entire Pac10 was recruiting Keyes and he probably would have had offers from most of the schools in the conference.

"I would have liked to take some trips but I don't think I will," Keyes said. "I am very happy with my decision."

Great get for the Bruins…


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