KeShawn Toney has matured into key component of UTC offense

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Chattanooga’s Keyshawn Toney (83) looks for running room after a reception. Defending for East Tennessee is Zach West (36). The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga hosted the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers in a Southern Conference football game, at Finley Stadium, on October 17, 2021.

KeShawn Toney needed to become his own man.

The Williston, South Carolina, native -- Williston is about an hour away from Columbia, home of the Gamecocks -- followed his family's advice and committed to the local Southeastern Conference program in the March of his junior year, signing in the winter and joining the program in January of 2019.

But, he later admitted, it wasn't his decision as much as, he felt, it was for the others around him. At USC he wasn't happy, so he put his name in the transfer portal and wound up at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where the 6-foot-2, 237-pound former three-star tight end prospect has found a home while also finding himself.

"When I left South Carolina, I just felt like I needed the change of scenery," Toney said.