LSU football recruiting profile: Arden Key


Arden Key is a highly-touted incoming freshman that has potential to make a huge impact for the LSU football team sooner rather than later.

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LSU football’s prized-recruit Arden Key is either a 4-star or 5-star player, and between No. 9 and 24 on big boards across the nation. It is never a bad thing to have one of the most talented players in a recruiting class. It gets even better when that player is an athletic freak on the defensive side of the ball.

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Arden Key is just that, and LSU snagged this prized-recruit away from several other top programs; included South Carolina, Miami, Alabama, Florida and Clemson. The 6-foot-5, 230 pound defensive end is the best pass rusher in the 2015 recruiting class, and will be imposing fear in SEC offensive linemen for the next several years.

A player with Key’s insane upside could be the catalyst that LSU football needs bring down Alabama and Auburn, and bring another SEC Championship to Baton Rouge.

He jumps off the tape, and one thing that is very noticeable is his length. He is tall and lanky, and while he seems better suited for outside linebacker in the current LSU system, he has the same explosiveness that Barkevious Mingo had when he was destroying opposing backfields for the Tigers at defensive end. Ironically, Key has been frequently compared to the former LSU great for his freakish athleticism and deceptive power in the trenches.

"“Most people think I’m like 1-something but I’m really 230,” Key told “I don’t look that way but I know in college they are going to put bulk on me so I’ll eventually become a true defensive end.”"

Key can shoot the gap or outrun an offensive tackle if necessary, and he can even drop into coverage when called upon. If he has any weakness coming into college, it would be that he does not quite have the blinding speed that you would expect from a player drawing comparisons to Barkeviovs Mingo. His 40-yard dash time seems a bit slow at 4.75 seconds, considering that hand-timed statistics tend to be a little generous to star high school athletes.

Regardless, his length and aggressiveness will make up for any minor shortcomings he may have. If a 4.75 40-time is the biggest thing to complain about regarding Key’s game, LSU has a very special player on their hands. 

If you ask me, there is basically no chance he does not see significant playing time as a true freshman this year. Les Miles is a smart man, and he knows the ramifications of leaving a talent like Arden Key on the sidelines. He could even contribute at weak-side outside linebacker at first, until he gains the weight necessary to compete on the defensive line in the SEC.

Key is the best defensive player in this recruiting class for LSU, and if he maintains the same level of intensity and effectiveness that he did during his illustrious high school career, we could easily witness him evolve into a Top 10 NFL Draft pick. With one of the better recruiting classes that LSU has built in the past five years, Key is the headliner and will be a crucial part of the defense for the next few seasons.

While it is rare in college football for a non-quarterback to step in and immediately improve a team’s win-loss record, Arden Key is a rare breed of defensive player that is capable of making a major impact from the moment that he steps on the football field.

Position: Defensive end/ outside linebacker hybrid. If Key bulks up, he will become an every-down defensive end.

Career stats: 33 sacks, 150 tackles, 10 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, 9 forced fumbles, 2 touchdowns.

Arden Key will win a national championship before his LSU football days are over. He is part of a talented recruiting class that is complimented by an equally impressive one coming in next season. When you factor in these things with the fact that LSU has a stable of future NFL players on its roster,  a return to glory is only a matter of time, and something that should happen while Key is in Baton Rouge.

Next: LSU football: 3 biggest games in 2015

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