Sad news broke early Thursday morning that former Purdue halfback, Marvin “Leroy” Keyes has passed away at age 74.
Keyes was dealing with serious health issues over the last several months including a “recurrence of cancer and congestive heart failure” and was in hospice care at an Indianapolis hospital.
Purdue lost one of its all-time legends as Marvin "Leroy" Keyes passed away this a.m. at the age of 74. Keyes was voted Purdue's all-time greatest football player in 1987. https://t.co/aonB5mjh4K pic.twitter.com/5EBMN9phsb— GoldandBlack.com (@GoldandBlackcom) April 15, 2021
Keyes could very well be the greatest Purdue football player of all time and was voted as such in 1987 for the 100th anniversary of the program. He is also a Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee along with being a member of the College Football Hall of Fame for which he was inducted in 1990.
He still holds various Purdue football records including; Yards per carry in a season with 6.6, yards per carry for a career with 5.88, points in a season with 141, and total touchdowns in a season with 19. All of these single-season Purdue records were set during his stellar season in 1967.
Although Purdue has never had a Heisman Trophy winner, Keyes finished second and third in voting for the award in 1967 and 1968. Most notably, was runner up to O.J. Simpson in 1968. The only other Purdue players to be runners-up for the Heisman were also from the 1960s in Bob Griese (1966) and Mike Phipps (1969).
Keyes finished his career with 2,094 rushing yards, 37 total touchdowns which are third in school history, 8 touchdown passes, while also playing defensive back and picking off 4 interceptions during his time in West Lafayette. He truly earned his “The Golden Mr. Do-Everything” nickname as a Boilermaker legend.
Our condolences go out to his family and loved ones, as we grieve his passing with them. A true Boilermaker on and off the field will be missed by all. Rest in peace, Leroy Keyes.