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Former Rutgers football player Ryan Keeler passes away




Sad news came out late Sunday as it was announced that former Rutgers football player Ryan Keeler had passed away at the age of 20.

Keeler was a member of the 2021 recruiting class and redshirted his one year at Rutgers. He then transferred to UNLV and had eight tackles including a sack in seven games played last season.

Per UNLV, he was “An Academic All-Mountain West honoree” and “Keeler held a 3.80 grade point average in pre-business.”

“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 just named a Rebel of the Week for his hard work this offseason less than two weeks ago.

“From getting to know him as a recruit, to actually getting to coach him, what stood out most was his passion,” Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said in a statement released on social media. “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 current and former Rutgers players sent condolences and messages on social media.

Former defensive line coach Jim Panagos, who recruited Keeler to Rutgers did as well. He tweeted, “Absolutely devastated by the loss of Ryan Keeler. He was an unbelievable person. I will always cherish my time with him. He will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Herb, Laura the kids their family and friends.”

This is terrible news.

I wish Ryan Keeler’s family and friends my deepest sympathies for their loss.

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  1. pj43

    February 21, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Apparently, the young man was well loved & respected by his Rutgers teammates and the coaching staff. I’m sure that his parents appreciate the condolences of the Rutgers family.

  2. Henry Rutgers

    March 22, 2023 at 11:51 am

    Was there ever an update for COD?

  3. Henry Rutgers

    March 27, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    Well yes, Hank. There was. An empty bottle of prescription medication was found near Ryan. He had been suffering from some unspecified illness which resulted in the prescription in the weeks prior to his death.

    Thus far, no mention of what the illness or medication were. Either way, it’s a tragic loss. Dean and Rutgers historian Dr. McCormick often said we can learn a lot from history.

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