By the time football season kicked off in August, Declo High School senior Keegan Duncan had long been a household name across the state of Idaho.
He was the All-Idaho 2A and Times-News 11-man football player of the year as a junior. Any team that had to face the Hornets knew the player they had to stop.
They still couldn’t.
Duncan again torched defenders all season long and was a nightmare for defenses, as well as offenses, to prepare for. Wherever he was, he made plays and established himself as the best football player in Idaho.
Perhaps the most poignant thing said about Duncan over the course of his senior campaign came from his head coach, Kelly Kidd, who choked up when asked what Duncan meant to him after Declo’s state semifinal win over West Side:
“He’s as good an athlete as this state ever saw.”
While many fantastic athletes have graced Idaho in the past, there was little doubt about Duncan being the best on the gridiron in 2018.
Not only did he take All-Idaho honors as the best player in the 2A classification for the second year running, but he was named the Gatorade Idaho Football Player of the Year, meaning, across all classifications, he was selected as the best football player in the state.
The staff at Boise State University don’t disagree, as Duncan is the Broncos’ lone recruit from in-state in the class of 2019. He committed there in June and signed on Dec. 19, and will be playing on the blue turf next season.
Duncan said it’ll be special to not only represent the state when he joins the Broncos, but to represent the small town of Declo, too. His friends, family and those around him are happy he elected to remain local as well.
“His old coach is certainly glad he’s staying close to home, too,” Kidd said.
Having made his decision to take a little pressure off before his senior season, Duncan made it clear that there would be no dip in output after a sensational junior year.
Despite suffering an injury in Declo’s opening game and not returning to 100 percent health until a few weeks later, Duncan still put up monster numbers while leading the Hornets to their perfect season.
Duncan ran the ball 180 times for 2,041 yards and 27 touchdowns. He caught 19 passes for 595 yards and 13 scores. He even threw for four touchdowns, including one in Declo’s state semifinal win.
Not limited to offense, Duncan returned three punts, two kickoffs and two interceptions for touchdowns as well. Kidd once said he “unassumingly does everything.”
Kidd said one of Duncan’s defining qualities is his humility, as he often heaps credit upon his teammates and coaches, and the Declo program as a whole.
“Declo football is something special,” Duncan said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. To be a part of this program, I’m very blessed.”
Along with being humble, Kidd said, Duncan possesses elite size, speed and intelligence—all the ingredients that make a great football player, his now-former head coach said.
Now, Duncan has turned his attention to basketball season, where he put forth an All-Idaho campaign last year, too, helping Declo take third place in the 2A classification.
He could have departed Declo before many of his senior classmates, as the possibility to enroll early at Boise State was there for him. But, he couldn’t turn down soaking in his final months as a Declo Hornet, before making the transition to a Boise State Bronco.
“[Early enrollment] was an option,” Duncan said. “I could have taken some online courses. But, I wanted to stay here, play basketball and finish out my senior year with my boys.”