Player Spotlight: Keith Tandy


Keith Tandy is entering his senior season as the defensive leader in the secondary. Tandy is coming off a breakout junior season that saw him earn All Big East First Team honors, and a position change coming into the season. Not to mention, Tandy is also up for three awards this season.

Tandy will remain at the corner position, he’s just moving to the other side to fill the void left by the graduation of Brandon Hogan. He made the switch during the spring, and as the experienced senior at the position, he’s doing all he can to help the young guys.

“They’re picking my brain apart, and I tell them what I’ve seen, what been through,” Tandy said. “Sometimes they’ll listen to me more than they listen to coach Lockwood.”

Tandy (5’10, 200 lbs) was named to the Thorpe, Nagurski and Bednarik Award Watch Lists. Those awards are given to the nations top defensive players. He was the fifth leading tackler on the squad with 57 tackles, including 38 unassisted tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions, 11 pass breakups and a forced fumble. Sheeeew…not bad.

All the hard work has put Tandy on several award watch lists.

The Thorpe Award – 37 players up for the award given to the nation’s best defensive back.

The Bronko Nagurski Award – 87 player list that can be added or taken off during the season. Given to the nation’s best defensive player.

The Bednarik Award – 65 players make up this list presented to the nation’s top defender.

Tandy has been staying busy working to get better, but also providing leadership to the young guys. With the loss of Hogan at the other cornerback spot, someone is going to have to rise.  Players like Pat Miller, Brodrick Jenkins,  Avery Williams, and Vance Roberts will need to step up. Tandy is doing his part to help.

“Keith is one of our leaders and maybe the best leader on our defense,” defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel said. “Keith is a smart kid, hard working kid and really a conscientious kid. I think those guys really watch him work and they understand how he got to be a good football player, through hard-work. He does a great job helping Pat, Brodrick , Avery Williams and these young kids. He’s like having another coach on the field.”

Tandy has also caught the eye of his position coach, David Lockwood.

“It’s more of what hasn’t he been doing,” Lockwood said. “He’s just a great guy to coach and to watch his progress over the last three years has been great.  He’ll take a rep on the outside and he’ll jump back and take a rep on the inside then you’ll look over and he’s coaching one of the guys.  He does it all which is great.”

The corners have had little rest with the arrival of Dana Holgorsen and his high powered offenese. It’s no secret the Mountaineers will throw the football, and work at a fast pace,  something Tandy pointed out during the spring.

“It seems like they throw the ball every play and they have like 15 guys on the field,” Tandy said. “So you have to be perfect going against this offense. They line up fast, and you have to trust fundamentals and what you’ve been doing.”

Tandy has been a leader not only on the field, but in the weight room, and classroom.

He was named as one of the teams Iron Mountaineers along with Najee Goode, and Will Clarke. Those Iron Mountaineers were counted on to lead the charge through offseason workouts and keep each player pushing forward even when the goal of winning a game is not right around the corner.

“All three represent the attitude, the work ethic, the intensity we want out of the weight room and I think their teammates see it and know they do extra work without taking short cuts,” says strength and conditioning coach Mike Joseph.”

Tandy’s outstanding work in the classroom might be more impressive. He’s a member of the Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll and is a Big East Academic All Star.

It sounds like Tandy will be hearing his name called alot his senior season. Not only on the field at Milan Puskar Stadium, but in the classroom.

Let’s Go Mountaineers!