- Mississippi State University
Tyrone Keys is a native of Jackson and a 1977 graduate of Callaway High School. At Callaway, Mr. Keys was named a high school All-American, selected to the Clarion-Ledger’s All-State First Team, selected as a Prep All-American, deemed the state’s defensive MVP in 1977, and helped Callaway win a state football championship in 1976.
After high school, Mr. Keys attended Mississippi State University to continue his football career and obtain a Bachelor of Science in physical education. At State, Keys was a three-time selection to the ALL-SEC second team, recorded 26 career sacks (No. 2 in school history), set a single-season sack record in 1980, and was selected to play in the Senior Bowl in 1980.
In 1981, Keys was drafted in the 5th round (113th pick) by the New York Jets; however, he decided to start his professional career in the Canadian Football League with the British Columbia (BC) Lions for two seasons. In 1983, Keys returned to the National Football League (NFL) to launch a successful seven-year career. He signed with the Chicago Bears as a defensive end, where he remained through their 1985 Super Bowl XX Championship. His next stop was the pre-Super Bowl Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1986-1987. Keys retired from the NFL after a career-ending injury with the pre-Super Bowl San Diego Chargers in 1989.
Tyrone Keys may be best known for his post-career community service. With $4000 in donations, Keys founded All Sports Community Service, Inc. in 1993 as a non-profit mentoring and scholarship organization dedicated to helping challenged youth in Tampa, Florida, achieve their dream of attending college. Keys taught his students the idea that the skills from the playing field could be parlayed onto the field of life. Since 1993, All Sports has assisted hundreds of students to obtain over $20 million in support towards their college education from all over the country and in England as well. All Sports students are mentored through a combination of academics, community service, and sports. Great emphasis is placed on returning to the community to assist the next generation.
His hall of fame memberships and honors include Mississippi State University Athletic Hall of Fame (2002); recognized for community service by President George W. Bush (2002); People’s Champion Tampa Tribune (2003); Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unsung Hero Award (2003); National Football Foundation & Hall of Fame Distinguished Citizen Award (2003); SEC Football Legends (2003); Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Inductee (2009); and Rube Award Winner (2018).