Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Cotton Bowl | Keys III Ready If Number Is Called

December 27, 2018

ARLINGTON, Texas - Notre Dame freshman receiver Lawrence Keys III didn’t see the field for the Irish this fall, but it didn’t stop him from having a memorable experience. 

The Irish are 12-0 and will face Clemson in the College Football Playoff in Saturday’s Cotton Bowl, so how could life be bad, right?

“It’s been a wonderful experience for the first time as a freshman,” Lawrence told Irish Sports Daily. “I’m getting the chance to build chemistry with the team and build our relationship even more. It’s great to be here.” 

The adjustment to college football is always a tough one for freshman and Keys has adapted on and off the field over his first semester at Notre Dame. 

“It was a big difference,” stated Keys. “The playbook, weightlifting and it was a different level of competition. It was harder than high school.” 

While some have mixed emotions by not playing as a freshman, Keys embraced it and made sure he bettered his game, but also those around him.

“I wasn’t frustrated at all,” explained Keys. “I was trusting the process and doing whatever I could to make this team better. I prepared them for games by being involved on the scout team. I gave it my all each day.” 

Keys not only embraced the chance to redshirt, but he also took advantage of every opportunity. Classmate and fellow receiver Braden Lenzy stated he put on 16 pounds since June and Keys is right behind him. 

“Braden and I are around the same range,” Keys said. “We work out together in the weight room and we’ve improved a lot.

“I feel like I’ve gotten faster and stronger. There’s been a big improvement.” 

Head coach Brian Kelly mentioned at the start of Cotton Bowl prep the offense was looking to add more speed on the field. Keys could be the guy on Saturday night and if that time comes, the New Orleans native will be more than ready. 

“I feel like I will be ready to make plays,” said Keys. “I’ll give my all and do what I can to help this team get the win.

“There will be a lot of pressure being a freshman. I have to block out all the distractions and stay focused.” 

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