Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Conversation with UCLA Safety Dennis Keyes

Dennis, you’re a senior. You’ve been on this team for a while. I know a lot of expectations are on this team right now. But it seems to me, talking to some of the other seniors on this team, everyone’s expectations aren’t nearly as high as the expectations you place on yourselves.

We have high, high, high expectations. We’ve been here for 5 years and have been going through a struggle. Our expectations are to be the best in the country. People want us to be a good solid defense, but our expectation is to be the best and to go out there and just dominate anybody we come up against.

What gives you that confidence that it’s going to be that case this year? Even though the expectations are high, there are others out there still doubting what UCLA can do this year.

That doubt helps us. It adds motivation. Just having the experience and having 10 seniors on the starting defense helps us, and that’s what gives us that confidence in being able to go out there and feel as if we can dominate whoever we play against.

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(Courtesy: LA Times)

You look at the secondary and you have some pretty good athletes back there. You, Rodney Van and Trey Brown especially. I have to ask you about your boy Trey. Everyone calls him “Mr. Mouth” because he’s always talking. Do you like that? And does it help you guys on the defense for someone to be so talkative in the secondary.

I love it because he’s doing a great job of taking the opponents out of their game. If he can get them more caught up in talking back to him, then they are not too worried about their play and the route they are supposed to be running. It definitely helps the secondary. I love it anytime Trey is out there talking. Plus, it keeps me on my toes and gives me a good laugh in the middle of the game.

Are you a big talker?

Nah, I don’t talk too much. If someone says something to me, I’ll give them a little something back. But I’m not big on talking. I never have been.

You have too many other things to worry about?

I’m just focused on the game. I try to hear Trey more so than myself.

Because he’s funny, right?

He’s way funnier than I am. That’s for sure.

Let’s do a little “What’s In” so the fans can find out a bit more about Dennis Keyes. What’s in your Ipod?

Kanye West’s new album. It’s hot. A real good album. Real good. I have that and the new 50 Cent. They have that whole big controversy, but I think Kanye might have him.

They both tore it up at the MTV Video Music Awards. What’s in your DVD player?

The last movie I had in my DVD player was “Nacho Libre.” That movie is hilarious. Jack Black is a great comedian. I love that dude.

What’s in your travel bag when you guys hit the road?

My PSP-- play games, watch movies, and listen to music all in one. So, I gotta have my PSP.

What’s in your class schedule?

I’m just finishing up my final courses. I have this Latin American seminar to finish my history major.

With a history major, I guess you can always be a teacher if football doesn’t work out.

That’s what I planned on—work on football and when that’s over and done with I will go and teach on the high school level.

What’s in your wildest dreams?

My wildest dream is to be able to fly.


Yeah, like Superman. Just thinking back as a kid, that was in my dreams mostly every night. I think flying would be fun. Just go out there and be free in the sky.

Anyone who’s seen you on the football field knows that you fly around pretty well from your free safety position. So maybe there is still some flying in your future.

I hope so. I’ve been trying!

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