University of Nevada, Las Vegas football player Ryan Keeler tragically passed away at the age of 20 this week. A cause of death was not released.
“We are devastated to have lost a member of our Rebel family,” Barry Odom, the UNLV football coach, shared 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.”
In addition to his coach, UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield also mourned the death of this student-athlete. “Words are hard to come by this evening as we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of UNLV student-athlete Ryan Keeler,” he said. “My sincere condolences are with Ryan’s family, friends, loved ones, and teammates during this very difficult time.”
“The UNLV family is in mourning today over the sudden loss of one of our own,” UNLV athletic director Erick Harper also said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to all of Ryan’s family and friends along with his Rebel teammates.”
Furthermore, his fellow players expressed their grief via social media. “Hurts me to even write this man rest in peace to my dawg Keeler gone way too soon man made me a better person and player every day,” Plant Jr. wrote on the social media site Instagram.
Reflecting on the short-lived life of Ryan Keeler
This football season was Keeler’s first season with UNLV after transferring from Rutgers. Although he was only at the school for a short amount of time, his team recognized his talent, and was described as a “highly recruited player who garnered dozens of scholarship offers out of high school.”
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Keeler initially played for the Scarlet Knights when he graduated with the class of 2021 as a No. 13 recruit from the state of Illinois. At the end of this football season, the student-athlete played in seven games for UNLV and recorded eight total tackles with a tackle for loss and a sack. He also obtained a 3.8-grade point average and was listed on the Academic All-Mountain West honors.
Although a cause of death was never announced by the school, the Las Vegas Police Department is pending toxicology results. The LVPD is opening an investigation into his death, and the case is considered open.
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