Ryan Keeler, UNLV Football Star, Passes Away At 20

Chisom Ndianefo
Ryan Keeler
UNLV Athletics | Ryan Keeler

Sophomore football player at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV,) Ryan Keeler, 20, died last Monday in Las Vegas.

Statement From The Team

In Loving Memory of Ryan Keeler
UNLV | Athletics

The UNLV rebels announced the young player's death on Feb. 20 via a statement from his head coach, Barry Odom.

Rebels Mourn His Loss

Odom said the team is devastated about losing its student-athlete despite their short time together.

An Impressive Player

Odom said Keeler impressed the coaches with his personality and they would grieve his death.

Transfer To UNLV From Nazareth Academy

Keeler played as a defensive linesman for UNLV with the jersey number 47. He transferred from Rutgers University after graduating from Nazareth Academy.

Freshman Year - Sophomore Year Stats

The lineman made eight tackles in seven games as a Sophomore which impressed scouts.

Student Athlete

Giphy | UNLV

Keeler received several scholarships when he graduated high school and eventually went to UNLV as a student-athlete.

Steady Grades

The student-player maintained a 3.80 grade in his pre-business degree and became an Academic All-Mountain West honoree.

Condolences To His Family

The school's president, Keith E. Whitfield, sent condolences to Keeler's family on behalf of the entire Rebel team.

Tribute From His Old Team

Nazareth Academy shared an old picture of the student-player in his old uniform with a 71 number and wished his family love during this difficult season.

Admirable Qualities

The Dean of Students at Nazareth Academy, released a statement saying the team is devastated at the loss. He listed Keeler's good qualities saying the 20-year-old was a good leader.

A Mentor To Younger Players

The Dean said he was an important mentor to the younger players and left a lasting legacy with the team.

Tributes From Teammates

His teammates shared tributes on Twitter with pictures of them having fun on and off court.

A Lasting Legacy

Keeler didn't have a strong online presence but he impacted people's lives in reality.

Accusations Against UNLV Athletics

Meanwhile, there are strong accusations against UNLV athletics saying its practices led to Keeler's death.

Keeler Had Health Issues

A Twitter user posted an expose saying the 20-year-old was dehydrated in the last few days and barely peed which he allegedly relayed to the coach and training staff. Unfortunately, they didn't respond per the poster.

Keeler Pressured Himself

The person also added that Keeler pushed himself beyond his limit because he wanted to impress his coaches and keep his scholarship.

It's A Bad Tradition

The poster hoped the Keeler family sues UNLV so it'll set the team straight as there's a running school theme which describes UNLV athletics as "Where coaches come to die."

Did The Coaches Turn A Blind Eye?

The person asked the coaches to answer truthfully about doing everything to help Keeler.

No Foul Play

Per TMZ, there's no cause of death yet but the authorities ruled out all suspicion. The only thing known now is that he passed away in Vegas.