Local ’26 WR Lavar Keys talks Maryland offer after workout

DeMatha (MD) three-star wide receiver Lavar Keys established himself as an early name to know in the 2026 cycle after drawing rave reviews from his coaches through his sophomore season. Virginia Tech became the first Power Four offer last fall before Boston College followed through days later, but Keys’ dominance on both the 7-on-7 and camp circuit through the spring has turned the heads of more college coaches.

Maryland was already tracking the 5-foot-9, 165-pound athlete heading into the spring but after making his way to campus on Sunday, the hometown team became the latest school to jump into the mix. “Me just dominating in front of them for months, it was like, ‘dang they don’t like me?’ But then when I got face-to-face with [Mike] Locksley and showcased my talent, he liked what he saw,” Keys told IBG. “It feels great.”

Keys got a chance to run routes along with the 40-yard dash, where was clocked in at 4.37 on two watches and 4.39 on a third. “[Locksley] told me I’m his Jaylen Waddle,” Keys added.

After hitting the field, Keys was able to spend one-on-one time with the coaching staff when the verbal offer came to fruition. “We went to his office, spoke a little bit. He mainly said he’s trying to get the DMV dogs and he thinks I can come in and help. Just having a coach tell me that is amazing, pushes me a lot,” Keys said. “The dude that recruited me at Maryland first, I had already gotten a tour with him. I’m up at Maryland all the time so I’ve seen pretty much everything. I just came up there, went to the indoor facility we did the 40, ran routes then boom.”

With the offer now in-hand, Keys is high on the idea of staying close to home and suiting up in an attractive offense for wide receivers. “I like the whole organization, how it’s changing. The team facility, that’s perfect. It’s all coming together, year by year to go get what they want. I just really like Maryland. It’s home. It’s better for my family — my mom most definitely. I just like Maryland. I like how coach Locks is taking care of them and building it all up.”

After already camping at NC State at the beginning of the month, Keys will head to South Carolina this upcoming weekend before making the trip to Blacksburg to see Virginia Tech on the 23rd. Whether Keys ventures anywhere else ahead of DeMatha’s fall camp in August remains to be seen, but the emerging playmaker knows what he wants to put on film as a junior.

“I want to put on a lot of explosiveness after the catch, a lot of YAC. Even though the routes are simple, I want to add a little so it looks good on film but I want to put a lot of blocking on there. I want to show I can be a receiver that can score and block.”

Lavar Keys is rated a three-star prospect and an 86 overall by On3, checking in as the ninth-best player in Maryland and the nation’s 101st-best wide receiver in the 2026 class.

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