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Notre Dame Football

WR Lawrence Keys III Continuing to Work Through Pandemic

April 17, 2020

It's a new world for just about everyone and that includes the college football world. 

Notre Dame canceled spring practice and classes on campus due to the coronavirus.

Receiver Lawrence Keys III is back home in New Orleans and admitted it's tough being away from his guys. 

"As of now, just not being with the guys practicing and lifting with them," Keys said of being at home. "It's hard not to be present with them. 

"Being at home right now is really tough. You have to do everything being on your own and adjust to a new system with what we're going through right now." 

Keys has made sure to stay on top of his game as he's continued to get work in, but he's also making sure to take the proper precautions.

"I'm working out with a few trainers," explained Keys. "I'm basically doing field work and a lot of drills we normally do at school. I'm making sure I'm keeping my technique sharp." 

The 5-foot-10, 173-pounder might be able to get field work in, but he's found it challenging to get lifts in as New Orleans has closed every gym.

Notre Dame was able to send out resistance bands, but those also only do so much.

"I'm trying to lift, but all the gyms are closed here," stated Keys. "I'm doing some home workouts. I don't have a weight set, but I have some bands to do our program. I'll wake up every morning around 5, go work out, go to class and then hit the field." 

The other challenge for Keys and the Notre Dame student body is getting used to online classes over Zoom. 

"I kind of feel it's worse," Keys said of online classes. "It's better being on campus, going to class and meeting with the professors face to face. They can't really do what they want to do. Being at home, you have to do everything online and it's a big step for the professors, but it's also harder for students.

"A lot of work is being thrown at you and you have to know what you have to do." 

Keys is also focused on maintaining a high GPA as he wants bragging rights in his house as his mother is taking graduate courses.

"That's the challenge in the house," laughed Keys.

Notre Dame's football staff has also used Zoom for install, positional meetings and checking in with the team. 

Keys felt those meetings have been positive as he and his teammates have been able to keep their focus on football. 

"Honestly, I feel it's a great thing and I'm glad we're doing it," stated Keys. "It keeps everyone's head on track. If we weren't doing it, then we would probably be doing something else with us not being around each other. 

"Going through it virtually is also hard. Some people learn by actions or visually. I feel it's still a great tool for us to use right now. Everything has been going well so far. We've been staying on top of our plays." 

On the field, Keys feels he's ready to take the next step after flashing as a sophomore in 2019. 

"I would say it has grown a lot," Keys said of his game. "It's been a long process from freshman year, where I was learning the playbook and getting adjusted. Now that I've been in for two years, I'm adjusted to the playbook and more comfortable. 

"I'm looking to read defenders more. I'm comfortable with the offense and it's about working on something else. I'm not thinking too much about what play I have or what I have to do. I'm looking at how I can route the defenders up and studying defensive techniques."

Perhaps the biggest change for the receiver unit in 2020 will be the return of Kevin Austin Jr. 

Austin and Keys are classmates and the New Orleans native couldn't say enough good things about his friend and teammate. 

"He brings a lot," said Keys. "Kev is an X-factor. I can't compare him. Kevin is Kevin. He has speed and he's big. He brings physicality. Kev is a hard body. I don't even know. Kevin is amazing. I could go on all day." 

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