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Director Inducted Into Alma Mater's HOF

All Sports Founder and Director Tyrone Keys has had a storied career in football, both as a collegian and as a professional. His career climaxed as a member of the Super Bowl Shuffle-winning Chicago Bears, and recently he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Mississippi State University.

Tyrone Keys & Coach Odell JenkinsGrowing up in Jackson, Mississippi, football was always a part of Key's life. "No matter what the weather, we played football."

Organized football for Keys began at Calloway High School with his defensive line coach, Odell Jenkins. "He went the extra mile, and inspired all of us. He invited us to his home and always talked about the next level. He made us feel confident, and convinced me I would be successful."

Keys lettered only in football at Calloway.

At Mississippi State, Keys said he thought he was going there to just play football, so he didn't get off to one of the best academic starts. "But, I got my degree in education, had a tremendous time, and met a lot of people."

Asked how he felt being recognized by his alma mater, Keys said he felt honored to go in with former Major League Baseball manager Buck Showalter and others. "Anytime you're remembered for your accomplishments on and off the field, it's a great time in your life."

Of his Super Bowl ring, Keys said that was a great team accomplishment. "However entering the Hall of Fame took in a lot of people who've helped me, and all those who were a part of that journey. There's no way I can compare the two, and I like to keep them as seperate experiences."

On his founding of All Sports, Keys said he was inspired to help others because of people like Coach Jenkins. "He helped me achieve my dreams, and I love being a piece to the puzzle in the lives of young people.

"I probably would have written myself short of what I expected of my career. To see the kids come back and help others is what I wanted, and that's the part I never dreamed about. Others inspired so quickly at a young age to help others is something I never expected."

During his career at Mississippi State, Keys was named to the All-SEC team three straight seasons (1978-80) and finished his career with 315 tackles and six fumble recoveries. He was also involved in perhaps the biggest play of MSU football history.

MSU Hall of FameKeys laid the hit in Alabama quarterback Don Jacobs, forcing him to fumble on the last play of MSU's storied 6-3 victory, knocking Alabama out of their number one ranking in 1980.

Ironically, Jacobs is a minister in the Tampa Bay area, and Billy Jackson, who recovered the fumble for the Bulldogs, is a high school coach at Brandon High School.

Prior to his induction ceremony, Keys said he hadn't visited his old school in three years. "I took my son for the first time."

Stepping on that field brought back some beautiful memories.

"The great thing about this honor was I was able to contact instructors from my elementary and high school days, and thank them for their part in making this happen for me. Coach Jenkins and I have a long relationship and it will continue."

Keys said he felt right at home with people like Jeris McIntyre, Fred Reid and George Peoples, who all have been instrumental in helping hime at All Sports Community Service.