Port Allen lineman Marcus Keyes commits to Louisiana-Lafayette _lowres


Finding a place that feels like home when you’re away from home is a challenge for many high school seniors seeking the right college.

Port Allen High offensive lineman Marcus Keyes considers himself to be one of the lucky ones. That’s why the 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior-to-be committed to Louisiana-Lafayette on Monday.

“When I visited there, I felt at home right away,” Keyes said. “I liked the school and the facilities, but I really like the coaches. They’re the closest thing I’ve found to the coaches I have now. That means a lot.”

Port Allen coach Guy Blanchard said the Cajuns are recruiting Keyes to play tackle — most likely left tackle.

“We’re as thrilled as we can be for Marcus,” Blanchard said. “He had several schools recruiting him, and he feels like ULL is the right fit for him. It’s hard to argue with the success they’ve had over the last few years.”

Keyes was an All-District 7-3A performer for the Pelicans as a junior and is a three-year starter. He said he carries a 3.0 grade-point average and already has met the NCAA’s academic qualifying standards. Keyes plans to be a kinesiology major and wants to go into coaching.

In addition to the Ragin’ Cajuns, Keyes said he has scholarship offers from Missouri, Central Florida, Louisiana Tech, Houston, South Alabama and McNeese State.

“When I saw ULL, I thought, ‘Why not commit?’ ” he said. “It’s what I want in a school and a football program, so why wait? I want my senior year to be smooth sailing on the field and in the classroom. With the recruiting part decided, I can concentrate more on just playing and my classes.”