Making the Case: Ramel Keyton
The 2019 class is on the clock and several of the nation’s top players have begun to cut their lists in advance of a commitment announcement.
Today, experts from the Rivals.com network examine where four-star wide receiver Ramel Keyton might end up playing college football. The candidates are Auburn, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee. He is set to commit to one of those Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. EDT.
Keyton is a Rivals250 wide receiver out of Marietta (Ga.) who has picked up more than two dozen offers over the last 15 months. He has visited several programs, developed a lot of relationships and is now ready to make a decision. Different programs have led at different times throughout his recruitment, including a couple that did not make the final cut. With a decision coming into focus, we asked our team experts to state the case for their respective programs and let National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell issue a verdict.
“Auburn signed four wide receivers in the 2018 class, one of the largest groups in the country, but the position is still one of need in 2019 – the Tigers lose five wide receivers to graduation over the next two seasons.
"Auburn has a commitment from George Pickens and is looking to add one more receiver, maybe two, but is being selective about whom it chooses. Keyton, however, is one the Tigers would love to take. The four-star recruit has been a top target for Auburn since early in his recruitment and the interest is mutual. Keyton has taken multiple visits to Auburn, as has his mother, and the two have long-standing relationships with the coaches, most notably area recruiter Tim Horton and wide receivers coach Kodi Burns.
"Will it be enough for Auburn? That remains to be seen. Tennessee, the presumed favorite, could be tough to beat. But Keyton and his mother visited Auburn again on May 5, the last visit before his announcement. That’s never a bad thing.” – Jeffrey Lee, AuburnSports.com
“Ole Miss is set to lose two of their top receivers following this season with A.J. Brown destined for the first round, and DaMarkus Lodge set to be drafted as well. With that being said, there is plenty of early playing time available, and that's before the potential early departure of DK Metcalf, who can leave after next season as well.
"Wide receiver coach Jacob Peeler signed three four-stars last year at the position, and will likely sign between 4-5 receivers in this class, with Keyton potentially being one of them.” – Russell Johnson, RebelGrove.com
“Keyton has a good relationship with new Penn State assistant Ja’Juan Seider, but he’s never visited Penn State. I’ve seen players commit to schools before without visiting, but it’s rare and usually doesn’t result in a firm commitment. I’d be surprised if he ended up in State College.” – Ryan Snyder, BlueWhiteIllustrated.com
“Keyton has liked Tennessee for three years. He was a priority under the previous coaching staff with Butch Jones, and nothing really changed when Jeremy Pruitt took over in December. The Vols have targeted Keyton as their vertical threat for the 2019 class, believing he has the length and speed to get behind defenses. Keyton is high on new wideouts coach David Johnson, but a subtle key in his recruitment has been a pair of Tennessee ties to his high school.
“Vols grad assistant Caleb Cox played at Marietta High (Ga.) and is a holdover from Jones’ staff. He’s been in Keyton’s ear for over the past two seasons and was a familiar face during the coaching transition. Similarly, former Vols wideout Derrick Tinsley, who is on staff at Marietta, has talked up Tennessee to Keyton for three years.
“Overall, the four-star receiver has a comfort level around Tennessee’s program that no other school can match.” – Jesse Simonton, Volquest.com
“I’ll go with Tennessee here as he has established a great rapport with the coaching staff. The Vols have sold him well on immediate playing time and contribution and he seems to have been leaning that way for a while.” – Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Director of Recruiting