Deadline reported that UNLV football player Ryan Keeler died Monday in Las Vegas, shocking the sports world. Chicago defensive lineman finished redshirt freshman season at 20.
The Nazareth Academy grad transferred to UNLV from Rutgers University during the previous season. Throughout the course of seven games, he recorded eight tackles. After graduating high school, he had his pick of several scholarship opportunities due to his high profile. His business school GPA was 3.80.
After Keeler’s untimely passing, UNLV football coach Barry Odom paid homage to him.
“While I had the privilege of knowing Ryan for just a few months, he stood out to our coaching staff as a great guy, student, and teammate. We are crushed by his loss. To Ryan’s family, please accept our deepest sympathies as you mourn his passing.”
Given Keeler’s health, everyone was surprised by his unexpected declaration. His secondary school, Nazareth School, and college team at UNLV also announced the tragic news on social media.
Long Live Ryan Keeler gone way too soon I’m lost for words right now love you forever brother 🖤🕊️ #LLRK47 pic.twitter.com/LMsdfF8RW6
— Adam Plant Jr. (@Apjthe1) February 21, 2023
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Ryan Keeler’s Cause of Death Is Still Unknown
The news of Keeler’s death was initially reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but the circumstances surrounding his passing are still a mystery. Eventually, information will be released. After Keeler’s passing, UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield also issued a statement. Here’s what was mentioned in the release:
“This evening, as we mourn the unexpected and devastating loss of UNLV student-athlete Ryan Keeler, it is difficult to find the right words to express our sorrow. My deepest sympathies are with Ryan’s loved ones and teammates during this time of loss.”
Keeler, who is 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 275 pounds, made eight tackles and one sack in two games for the Rebels. This last October he recorded the first sack of his collegiate career, against Air Force,
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a student at the University of Nevada has died in a mysterious way. On November 19, 2021, Nathan Valencia, a student at the University of Nevada, Los Angeles died in a fraternity’s amateur fight night fundraiser.
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
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