The Eagles announced that former player Leroy Keyes died at his home in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Thursday. Keyes was 74.
The Eagles made Keyes the third overall choice in 1969 out of Purdue, where he starred as a running back, defensive back and return specialist. He finished as the school’s all-time leader in touchdowns (37), points (222), and all-purpose yards (3,757).
Keyes, a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1968, earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990. He recently was named to the Mount Rushmore of Purdue football in an online poll, joining quarterbacks Drew Brees and Bob Griese and defensive back Rod Woodson.
In his four years with the Eagles, Keyes played running back, cornerback and safety. In 1971, Keyes and All-Pro Bill Bradley formed one of the best safety duos in the game, combining for 17 interceptions.
Keyes spent one season with the Chiefs after leaving Philadelphia.
He later returned to Philadelphia to work for the city’s school district as a desegregation specialist for 16 years before returning to his alma mater to join its coaching staff in 1995. He remained with Purdue in several capacities until his retirement in 2011.
Keyes is survived by his wife, Monica, and four children: Raymond, Jacqueline, Courtland, and Colin.