BoPete Keyes looks to extend Tulane's streak of drafted CBs


If Tulane's Thakarius Keyes gets selected in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, it'll mark the third-straight year a Green Wave cornerback was picked.

That's a streak the 6-foot-1, 200-pound cornerback would definitely be proud of.  

"During the season, I didn't think about it as much," Keyes said. "Looking back at the time (I spent here), it has been a tradition of those DBs. I feel like, me, coming up this year, would be a bigger part of it.

"I just want to continue to leave that legacy behind for guys that are coming up."

Aside from continuing that streak, the draft might be the first time Keyes will be addressed by his first name in quite some time.

Keyes received the nickname BoPete from his grandmother when he was younger and it's mostly all anyone has called him since.

"No one really calls me my real name," He said with a laugh. "Even in high school, the superintendent, principal... nobody called by real name."

That goes for his Tulane coaches as well as the NFL scouts he's been in contact with throughout the draft process.

But Keyes is less concerned with who calls him what, he just wants to get called to join an NFL roster.

While he waits for that call, Keyes has been busy workout at what ever parks he's able to find open in his hometown of Laurel, Miss. and studying the player who've had the success in the NFL he's looking to have.

"I watch a lot of videos of old veterans such as Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman," he said. "I watch a lot of Jamal Adams and Tyrann Mathieu too."

Keyes has also spoken to some of his former Tulane teammates like Donnie Lewis, a seventh-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2019, about what to expect in the NFL.

"I talk to Donnie almost everyday," he said. "And he tells me a lot of the times it's pretty much just being able to be able to run with most of these guys, nowadays, and learning the schemes as fast as you can... And, mainly, they all give me great advice about staying on top of everything, making sure I'm in shape, ready to roll and coming in and just playing ball."

Keyes, like all 2020 prospects, has been dealing with the uncertainty of the upcoming season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

"It's kind of crazy," he said. "You know, I was looking forward to going on some of those visits and looking at the facilities. I mean everyone just improvising right now." 

Keyes said he's mostly been trying to communicate to coaches that he's a "high energy guy" and he'll be a positive addition to their locker rooms.  

"I will bring a lot to any facility or any place," he said. "Not only just the coaching staff, for the players, but people in the city and a community, everyone around you as well."

One of the franchises he's tried to communicate that to is the team that plays its home games just a couple miles from where he played his. 

"Most of my family pretty much stays in New Orleans and all of my family from home here in Mississippi, all Saints fans. So they all want me to end up with the Saints.

Keyes said he wouldn't mind playing in New Orleans but he'll be excited to suit up for any team that brings him in.