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Former footballer Tyrone Keys helps kids

Written by People Magazine

College Coach: Former footballer Tyrone Keys helps kids get into school Why you might know him: In the 80’s Keys was a defensive end for the ’85 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears, the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Inspiration: As a coach for Tampa high schools in 1992, Keys helped Albert Perry, an athlete from an inner-city housing project, land a football scholarship at Texas Southern University. After school had started, Keys ran into Perry – in Tampa. “He said, ‘Man, I had no way to get there,’ recalls Keys, 43.”I had never even though of that.” Days later Perry was killed in a shooting. “Had he gone to college, “ Keys says, “things would have been different.” Game Plan: Determined to give other kids a better chance, Keys used $4,000 in donations to launch All Sports Community Service, which helps teen prepare for college with SAT prep, tutoring, scholarships and etiquette classes. In return alumni do volunteer work and check in with All Sports counselors once they go off to school. Scoreboard: All Sports, which now has four staffers and a $220,000 budget, has sent more than 400 kids to college so far. Training: The son of a contractor and a teacher, Keys attended Mississippi State on a football scho9larship. “I just always accepted the notion that it was going to be up to me,” says Keys, who lives in Tampa with his wife, Bessie and one of their two children. The Crowd roars: President Bush honored Keys for his service with a visit last November. But more valuable to Keys – even than his Super Bowl ring – is the success of the students: “He told me there was hope and help,” says Todd Williams, 25, who was in juvenile detention when he enrolled in the program in 1994. With Key’s help he graduated from Florida State University in 2002 and is now an offensive guard for the Tennessee Titans. “I came from the dregs, and look where I am today.”