Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 2 | WR Lawrence Keys III

August 3, 2019

We are looking at 10 players who hold the most intrigue on the roster as fall camp is just under a month away. They might not be the star of the team, but they could be a younger prospect oozing with potential or an older guy who has patiently waited for their time to come. 

These are 10 players who I will be paying close attention to as camp starts, but also the first few games of the season to see if they break into the rotation or what Brian Kelly’s plan of attack for them is in 2019. 

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 10 | OL Aaron Banks

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 9 | S Jalen Elliott

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 8 | LB Jordan Genmark Heath

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 7 | DL Jayson & Justin Ademilola

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 6 | WR Javon McKinley

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 5 | WR Michael Young Jr.

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 4 | Asmar Bilal

Most Intriguing Players of 2019 | No. 3 | Shaun Crawford

I think you could stick a number of players on this list, but for me, sophomore receiver Lawrence Keys III could potentially be an X-factor for Chip Long’s offense this season. 

Keys redshirted last season and didn’t see action in a game despite rumblings he had a package for the Clemson game. 

The Louisiana native gives Notre Dame a player who can make explosive plays in a variety of ways and from numerous spots on the field. Keys is a player who can rip off a big play off a jet sweep, screen, slant and get behind the defense with his speed. 

Now, he’ll start the year behind fifth-year senior Chris Finke and I’m not sure you’ll see Keys unseat Finke for his job, but I think he could apply pressure to Long to make subtle changes to the offense. 

Could Long run a few more packages with four receivers on the field to take advantage of Keys’ big play ability? Could Keys bump Finke outside or plays outside himself in situations? Now, you still want to utilize the tight end position, but having Finke, Keys, Chase Claypool and Michael Young Jr. on the field at the same time is also intriguing. 

Keys could also potentially impact the return game if Notre Dame decides to make that move. I like Finke on punt return because he’s shifty and he has sure hands, so I’m not sure the staff should mess with that as he can also make the first guy miss. Kickoff return, I would like to see Nore Dame get more active in the return game. Keys and classmate Braden Lenzy are interesting candidates there as they have elite speed. Fair catching kickoffs has a benefit, but Notre Dame can also push the envelope a little more in my opinion. 

All in all, I think Keys has a chance to begin to make his stamp on the Notre Dame offense this year, but it’s imperative he takes advantage of the opportunities he’s given. 

Also, if you need a refresher, here you go. (The screen at the 20-second mark...Sheesh)

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