WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — One of the best to ever play football at Purdue University has died.
From 1966 to 1968, Leroy Keyes played running back and defensive back and was a kickoff return specialist. In 1968, he was second in voting for the Heisman Trophy, the award that goes to the best college football player, finishing just behind O.J. Simpson.
In 1969, Keyes was taken third overall in the NFL Draft, and played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, but his career was cut short after just five years due to injuries. He then spent 16 years as a specialist for desegregation in school districts in Philadelphia.
In 1994, the man nicknamed “Golden Mr. Do-Everything” was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He returned to West Lafayette, being a member of the coaching staff in the late 90s.
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says “every Boilermaker lost a good friend” Thursday, calling Keyes “a great athlete and a great person.”
Keyes had recently been in poor health, suffering from congestive heart failure and a battle with cancer. He passed away at his home in West Lafayette with family by his side. He was 74.