UNLV defensive lineman Ryan Keeler has died at the age of 20, head coach Barry Odom confirmed in a statement shared on the team's official website.
"We are devastated to have lost a member of our Rebel family," said first-year UNLV football head coach Barry Odom. "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."
Keeler was coming off his redshirt freshman season at the time of his death on Monday (February 20). The Chicago native graduated from Nazareth Academy and initially signed with Rutgers University before transferring to the Rebels prior to the 2022 season.
Keeler appeared in seven games and recorded eight tackles as a redshirt freshman and was named as an Academic All-Mountain West honoree with a 3.80 grade point average while majoring in pre-business.
"The UNLV family is in mourning today over the sudden loss of one of our own," said UNLV Director of Athletics Erick Harper. "Our hearts go out to all of Ryan's family and friends along with his Rebel teammates."
"Words are hard to come by this evening as we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of UNLV student-athlete Ryan Keeler," said UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield. "My sincere condolences are with Ryan's family, friends, loved ones, and teammates during this very difficult time."
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