April 12, 2013

Key Knows All About Mizzou

Coleman Key has a source on the inside.

Levi Copelin, his former teammate at Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma, redshirted at Missouri a year ago and began the spring as a third-string wide receiver for the Tigers.

"He just tells me how much he loves it," Key said.

And there's more. Missouri also recruited Key's older brother, who eventually signed with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M junior college.

"I've only heard positive things about it," Key said. "I really like Missouri."

It remains to be seen whether MU likes Key enough to offer him a scholarship. The 6'5'' quarterback has five offers right now: Western Michigan, Toledo, Illinois, Colorado State and Arkansas State. But he's more widely coveted than those offers may suggest. He's hearing from every corner of college football, including Penn State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon and Oklahoma State.

It's as if they're waiting on something. Perhaps they are. Key has the physical tools and stature to play at the highest level of college football, but he's still a bit unproven with only one year of starting experience under his belt. After transferring from Owasso High School - where he served as a backup to his younger brother - he threw for about 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior.

It wasn't a bad year. But it might not have been entirely indicative of Key's abilities.

"I started out slow, and they didn't think I maybe produced as well as I should have… that I was a bust," Key said. "But I think I got better as the year went along and learned some things the hard way."

That's why his spring season could be critical.

"When spring ball comes around, some bigger Division I schools might come by and pull the trigger," Key said. "I'm not worried about offers. I'm just worried about winning."

That might even mean an offer from Mizzou. If that happens, Key will certainly listen to the school, which he says has been in contact with him for a while. He attended the one-day camp in Kansas City in June, and he established a relationship with former offensive coordinator Dave Yost.

But Yost's departure to Washington State hasn't made much of a difference in Key's recruitment.

"It doesn't change anything," Key said. "With college football, there's gonna be a lot of coaching changes. You've got to know that before you choose schools… Missouri's always going to have good guys coaching."

Depending on which offers roll in, Key said he could envision himself committing near the beginning of his senior season. If they're slow to warm up to him, though, he has an easy solution.

"Win state this year," Key said, "and all the offers will take care of themselves."

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