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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Dontae Keys, OT, North Carolina A&T

Dontae Keys North Carolina A&T
Dontae Keys is a powerful lineman from North Carolina A&T. He recently sat down with Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Dontae Keys
  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 315 lbs
  • Position: OT
  • College: North Carolina A&T University
  • Twitter: @_MRxSpellman

Tell us about your university/college. Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?

I love North Carolina A&T and I thank God every day that I made the decision to commit to the university. It is a vibrant family oriented community filled with people that genuinely care about your future and you becoming the best version of you. With such an active campus, I feel as if I’m involved in everything including live performances, famous special guest and guest speakers, and community service in the area. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My teammates feel that I have great leadership qualities. I am not afraid to be real about their performance and their development as a teammate and player. I am upfront about the offensive lines performance as a whole and I hold myself to a higher standard than most. 

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? 

I definitely see myself as a vocal leader on my team. My teammates aren’t opposed to listening to what I have to say. 

What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

A lot of our plays styles and schemes I have come to love. The scheme that suits me most would have to be the lead scheme. This scheme is a tackle pull for linebacker at the next level. I love this scheme because I love to get a full head of steam and run through the opposing player. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

The best player I have ever played against in college would have to be Nate Harvey of the East Carolina University Pirates in 2018.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

One teammate that impresses me would have to be JahMichael Baldwin because of his work ethic and ability to persevere through obstacles. He never stops working! 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

A time in my life when I was able to overcome a struggle was my 1st full summer in Greensboro, NC after my freshman year. We had “volunteer” workouts that I wanted to dedicate myself to. I saw my true potential my freshman year and felt that dedicating my full summer to the game would put me exactly where I needed to be on and off the field. It wasn’t much of a big struggle because of my strong family support system but I learned a lot about life, becoming a man, and recognizing what’s important to my dream of becoming an NFL superstar. The late nights, early mornings, loss of sleep, body pains from extensive workouts, and mental stress that I went through made me a better man. 

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

If I didn’t play football, I would be a baseball player. I used to play when I was younger and I know that I would bring a totally different style to baseball. 

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

Something that I am proud of would be my academic standing now as an upcoming senior. In danger of being in bad academic standing my freshman and sophomore year, I noticed that I was heading down the wrong academic pathway. I turned my GPA around and I also began taking courses that would help me gain knowledge, wisdom, and a true sense of how our world works and how we as African Americans should strive to be the best version of ourselves regardless of the community or opposition we may face. 

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

My most memorable play in college would be against Delaware State my sophomore year. I was subbed in at Left Tackle, and the coach called a tackle bounce to the play side. I pulled around and pushed a defensive back out of bounds. It was a great example of speed and strength at the offensive line position. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

My favorite athlete is Ndamukong Suh. His strength and ability to dominate is what I strive to show on every play. 

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?

My favorite music artist is Kodak Black. Any of his songs can get me hyped before a game. #FreeKodak

What is your favorite comfort food?

My favorite comfort food is my grandmother’s chocolate cake. She has been making it for me since I was a kid and it gets better every time. 

Do you have a favorite movie or actor?

My favorite actor is Al Pacino. 

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?

In my spare time I am an investor in many different stock exchange groups. 

Who or what motivates you the most?

My family motivates me the most. I want to be successful so that I can give them the world. 

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