Nobody can say Arden Key isn't aiming high.
The LSU defensive end says his goal is to record 20 sacks this season, per Ron Higgins of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
It's the same goal that Texas A&M star Myles Garrett has set for himself. With Garrett established as one of college football's elite talents, it's easy to assume that Garrett has a far better chance of achieving the feat. After all, Key was just a freshman last year and recorded just five sacks. But there isn't much of a ceiling to Key's potential, either. At 6-foot-6 and 238 pounds, his athleticism and length were obvious last year in earning Freshman All-America honors.
NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein ranks him the No. 4 edge rusher to watch in college football this year. He sees some similarities between Key and Chicago Bears first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd. Key was the third pick of a pass rushers-only mock draft that was conducted Thursday by Zierlein and NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
Key caught the eye of both analysts during the AdvoCare Texas Bowl in December:
LSU DE (49) Arden Key is a freak. He's going against a top 3 round OT and he's making it look easy.â Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) December 30, 2015
That was in reference to Key's performance against Texas Tech's Le'Raven Clark, who was a third-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts this year. Key didn't record a sack in the game, but gave Clark all sorts of trouble.
Of course, it takes a lot more than potential to attain 20 sacks. It hasn't been done since Elvis Dumervil managed to reach 20 sacks at Louisville in 2005. Terrell Suggs holds the NCAA record with 24 at Arizona State, but some fabulously talented defensive ends have come and gone through the college ranks without even approaching the mark in the 11 years since Dumervil did so.
A lot would have to go just right for Garrett, much less Key, to even get near the goal.
But at least Key doesn't lack for confidence.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.