The 2022 Kentucky football recruiting class just got a whole lot better. Thursday evening Lexington wide receiver Dane Key announced his commitment to Kentucky, choosing the Wildcats over Michigan, South Carolina and Oregon, among others.
A four-star wide receiver, On3 Key is ranked as the No. 228 player in America according to the On3 consensus. Primarily recruited by Vince Marrow, Key has been one of the Wildcats’ top recruiting targets for years. His addition is significant both on and off the field.
Key is a legacy recruit, the son of former Wildcat linebacker, Donte Key, who played on UK’s 1993 Peach Bowl team. Close family friends with KSR co-host Ryan Lemond, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver has been on the BBN’s radar for years. The problem was that Mark Stoops’ team did not have an offense to attract a playmaker of Key’s caliber, even though he was the son of a former Wildcat that grew up in the shadow of Kroger Field.
In the offseason Stoops hired Liam Coen to be the Wildcats’ play-caller. His offensive ingenuity has injected life into the Kentucky offense on Saturdays and made the future brighter by inspiring players like Key to put on a Kentucky uniform.
Another Recruiting Win in Kentucky
The Big Dog continues to clean up show within the state’s borders. The addition of Key gives the Wildcats the No. 16 football recruiting class in America, according to On3. He is the fifth commitment from the state of Kentucky, joining four-stars Treyveon Longmire and Grant Bingham, along with five-star Louisville native Kiyaunta Goodwin.
Key is also the latest and greatest from Frederick Douglass High School to join the BBN. Lexington’s football factory since the school opened in 2017, he is the fourth Bronco to commit to Kentucky. Next year he’ll team up with OL Jager Burton and WR Dekel Crowdus at Kroger Field. Ty Bryant will join the party the following season as a member of the class of 2023.
Key’s Impact on the Field
Kentucky’s top two pass-catchers in 2021, Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Ali, are not expected to be back for the 2022 season. Will Levis needs targets and Key fits the mold. The Wildcats’ wide receiver recruiting efforts have improved, bringing in unprecedented speed to the position, but there aren’t many guys that can play big on the outside.
Key is the talented outside wide receiver Coen’s offense needs. He can compete with physical SEC cornerbacks and win one-on-one matchups against press coverage. When was the last time you saw a back-shoulder fade caught by a Wildcat? That’s happening once Key gets on campus. Key’s future is bright as a potential day one impact playmaker.