Defensive Scouting Report
Class of 2028, JJ Keyes is an explosive Defensive End/Linebacker with exceptional instincts and toughness. He possesses prototypical bulk with a compact powerful base and, most importantly, he plays even bigger. A dominant and instinctive downhill defender, he is quick to read and react and fills with great power between tackles. He reads keys and anticipates with great awareness. Consistently beats blockers to the point of attack, but he is agile enough to sidestep/slip the cutoff block or shed with hand strength. Displays very good stack and take-on skills. He’s a quick lateral pursuer who can move through traffic while keeping proper leverage on the ball carrier. Takes sharp angles with little indecision on his pursuit to the ball. Rarely takes himself out of plays due to his smarts, motor, and range. We feel he is most productive in the short-area between the tackles but shows good sideline-to-sideline speed and long pursuit. Deployed at Linebacker in certain alignments, he comes down from a high-point position to make stops at the first level. Drives and closes on the ball with great burst and runs through as a tackler with striking pop and explosion. Will wrap up securely in space. He shows good change of direction and overall balance and athleticism in space. He can open, turn and crossover in coverage. Gets depth while keeping head on a swivel and feeling route development. He has ball skills. JJ has the range and athleticism to offer favorable rushing the QB to playing man-to-man coverage on backs and TEs at the next level. Overall, Keyes will bring a ton of talent and versatility to a defense at the high school then college level. He could develop at all three linebacker positions in traditional 4-3 defense and should also be a standout on special teams. Coaches, this kid will have a super high ceiling as he continues to grow and develop.