Anyone who ever watched Jamar Mozee shred opposing defenses while starring in the Blue Springs High School back field should not be at all surprised that his nephew is also a dazzling running back.
Keyon Mozee is one of the key components to the recent resurgence of the Lee’s Summit North football program, while also starring on the Broncos track and field team.
The simple fact that Jamar is the coach and Keyon the go-to back led to a perfect scenario that culminates with Keyon being named The Examiner’s 2019 Offensive Player of the Year, edging Fort Osage’s Dominic Myers for the area’s top offensive honor.
“I almost can't put into words how proud I am of Keyon,” Jamar Mozee said. “To see how far he's come as a young man is truly a blessing to me. Keyon worked really hard to improve in the classroom, he has the total respect of all his peers and adults around him.
“To see him become the football player and the man that he is today makes me proud. It was an honor to coach my nephew.”
And Keyon says it was an honor to play for his uncle.
“The past two seasons have been really special,” Keyon said. “And playing for my uncle made them even more special. I know a lot of the guys early on thought that since Coach was my uncle, he would take it easy on me.
“It was the total opposite. He was fair with everyone, including me, but he worked me as hard – maybe even a little bit harder – than anyone. And I am so thankful he did that. He helped me become the player and the man I am today.”
While Jamar Mozee was a big, slashing running back, Keyon is more of a speedster, with a slight frame that is surprisingly powerful.
“As a player, he worked his butt off in the weight room,” Jamar Mozee said. “We all know Keyon has elite speed, and he has gotten faster every year, but his ability to get stronger was very important with his success as a ball carrier. Keyon also had a very good understanding of the game.
“He became a willing blocker, pass catcher and return guy for us. He is 180 pounds of solid muscle, and that is a tribute to his hard work. As a man, Keyon is second to none. Keyon is a very caring person, and he has a unique ability to get along with everybody. He has a level of respect for every adult he encounters, and he is very well liked here at Lee's Summit North.”
He is also “well liked” by the coaching staff at Kansas State University, as he has signed with the Wildcats to continue his football career in college.
“I’ve signed with Kansas State and I am so honored and blessed to be able to continue my football and college career as a Wildcat,” Mozee said. “When the high school season was going on, all I thought about was our Broncos program. Now that high school is over, I’m just thinking about what it’s going to be like playing Division I football at Kansas State.”
Mozee rushed for 1,049 yards on 169 carries (a 6.2-yard average) and scored 10 touchdowns in his senior season. He also caught 16 passes for 139 yards and had a 32.8-yard kickoff return average, including a 94-yard return for a touchdown.
When asked about special memories, both had immediate answers.
“There are two special moments in particular,” Coach Mozee said. “The first special moment was when I took Keyon to the Nike Opening in St. Louis. I really didn't know what to expect, because it was our first time attending the combine.
“When the 40-yard dashes started, I knew Keyon would do well, but I didn't know how well. After he ran his first 40-yard dash, everyone in the auditorium took attention. He ran a 4.43 electric 40-yard dash. The gentleman holding the timer immediately asked me who he was. He told me that Keyon's 40 time was one of the top five times in the country.
“As Keyon finished all the other tests, it was very clear he belonged with the top running backs in our region. He did so well they invited him back to the next day, for the regional finals. The second day’s workouts consisted of some of the top running backs in the United States. Keyon repeated his outstanding performance on the second day, and he was able to outperform every running back there.
“Keyon won MVP out of all the running backs there, it was amazing. His total score was a 137.19, and that was the second highest score in the United States. It was one of the highest scores of all time – higher than (New York Giants running back) Saquon Barkley and (Dallas Cowboys running back) Ezekiel Elliott. Keyon ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, 39-inch vertical, and a 3.87 short shuttle. His performance went viral on social media. I knew at that moment that he was special.
“The other special moment was when he signed with Kansas State University on Dec. 18. When I was in high school I committed to Kansas State, but changed my mind and attended Oklahoma University. It was really cool to see everything come full circle.”
Keyon chuckles when asked about one special memory.
“My uncle was a big guy who could run over people and I am smaller and use my speed to run away from defenders,” Keyon said, “but in a game against Raymore Peculiar, I broke about four tackles on this 40-yard run. I felt like my uncle, running over people. I was the coolest feeling, but nothing will top the feeling of playing for my uncle, being a part of the success we had the past two years and being a Bronco.”