Former Rutgers defensive end Ryan Keeler passed away at 20 years old on Monday in Las Vegas. A cause of death has not been reported at this time.
Keeler transferred to UNLV after signing with Rutgers out of high school. UNLV announced the tragic news on Monday in a press release.
“We are devastated to have lost a member of our Rebel family,” 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 a three-star prospect out of Chicago in the 2021 class. He committed to Rutgers and was a redshirt after his freshman year. Keeler transferred to UNLV during the offseason and appeared in seven games. He made eight tackles and logged the first sack of his career. He was also named Academic All-Mountain West.
Many members of the Rutgers community is mourning the loss of Keeler, including head coach Greg Schiano.
“We are devastated to hear of Ryan’s passing,” Schiano said in a statement on Twitter. “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.”
Many teammates that spent time with Keeler in the same group shared tributes as well. Mike Tverdov took to Instagram to share his condolences.
“This hurts my soul,” Mayan Ahanotu said. “Ryan wasn't just a good kid. He was a GREAT kid with a pure heart. Praying for his family. Love you kid. RIP.”
“Great teammate. Better brother. Love you bro fly high,” Jordan Thompson said.
On The Banks sends condolences to the family and friends of Ryan Keeler during this difficult time.