University Left in Shock After Football Player's Untimely Death: 'Incredible Person, Student and Teammate'
A 20-year-old college football player died on Monday in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Ryan Keeler, a sophomore defensive end for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, died unexpectedly. No cause of death has been revealed.
The school announced Keeler’s untimely death on social media.
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Keeler saw playing time in seven of the Rebels’ 12 games in 2022 after he transferred from Rutgers following the 2021 season.
A Chicago native, Keeler recorded eight tackles and one sack while also earning academic All-Mountain West honors with a GPA of 3.8.
Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano paid tribute to Keeler in a statement in which he described the former three-star prospect as full of passion.
— Greg Schiano (@GregSchiano) February 21, 2023
“We are devastated to hear of Ryan’s passing,” Schiano said.
“From getting to know him as a recruit, to actually getting to coach him, what stood out most was his passion. His passion for his teammates and his passion for the game of football. We send our love and prayers to Ryan’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
We love you, Ryan ❤️ pic.twitter.com/qpI1u8UiW5
— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) February 21, 2023
Nazareth Academy, where Keeler went to high school, expressed shock at his sudden death.
There are no words. Our hearts are heavy. God bless the Keeler family. We love you Ryan. pic.twitter.com/Znro5j75UV
— Nazareth Academy Football (@FootballNaz) February 21, 2023
Keeler’s Rutgers teammate Jordan Thompson remembered Keeler as a “brother.”
Great teammate. Better brother. Love you bro fly high🙏🏽♥️ https://t.co/DUpemqPmTU
— Jordan Thompson (@jordan_thom14) February 21, 2023
First-year UNLV head coach Barry Odom, who never had the opportunity to coach Keeler in a game, also issued a statement.
“We are devastated to have lost a member of our Rebel family,” Odom said.
“While I had the honor of knowing Ryan for only a couple of months, he already stood out to our coaching staff as an incredible person, student and teammate. Our condolences and prayers go out to Ryan’s family as we grieve along with them over this tremendous loss.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.