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UNLV football player Ryan Keeler dies at 20

Keeler had played one season with the team after transferring from Rutgers University.
/ Source: TODAY

Ryan Keeler, a defensive lineman with the UNLV football team, has died, the school announced Feb. 20. He was 20 years old.

No cause of death was announced.

“We are devastated to have lost a member of our Rebel family,” said UNLV football head coach Barry Odom, who was hired in December.

Ryan Keeler played one season at UNLV.
Ryan Keeler played one season at UNLV.UNLV

“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, who was from Chicago and played high school football at Nazareth Academy, began his college career at Rutgers University before transferring to UNLV, where he had finished his redshirt freshman year. In the 2022 season, he recorded eight tackles and one sack.

Keeler was a pre-business major who maintained a 3.8 grade-point average and made the Academic All-Mountain West team.

His death was felt beyond UNLV.

“We love you, Ryan,” Rutgers football tweeted.

"There are no words. Our hearts are heavy. God bless the Keeler family. We love you Ryan," the Nazareth Academy football team tweeted.