UNLV defensive lineman Ryan Keeler died on Monday at age 20 in Las Vegas, the school announced.
No cause of death was released for the Chicago native, who was a redshirt freshman in the 2022 season.
— UNLV Football (@unlvfootball) February 21, 2023
“We are devastated to have lost a member of our Rebel family,” incoming UNLV football coach Barry Odom said in a statement. “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.”
Rebels athletic director Erick Harper added in a statement, “The UNLV family is in mourning today over the sudden loss of one of our own. Our hearts go out to all of Ryan’s family and friends along with his Rebel teammates.”
UNLV president Keith E. Whitfield tweeted, “Words are hard to come by this evening as we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of UNLV student-athlete Ryan Keeler. My sincere condolences are with Ryan’s family, friends, loved ones, and teammates during this very difficult time.”
Keeler transferred to UNLV from Rutgers before last season.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said in a statement, “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.”
Keeler was selected to the Academic All-Mountain West team after compiling a 3.80 grade-point average as a pre-business student. On the football field, he appeared in seven games for the Rebels, making eight tackles, including a sack against Air Force on Oct. 15.
–Field Level Media