🔴 Former Rutgers defensive lineman Ryan Keeler has died at the age of 20

⚪ Keeler transferred to UNLV last year and made the academic All-Mountain West team

🔴 Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano: "What stood out most was his passion"

University of Nevada, Las Vegas defensive lineman Ryan Keeler, who transferred from Rutgers University last year, died Monday at 20, the university announced.

No cause of death was given.

Keeler, who is from Chicago, transferred to UNLV from Rutgers last year.

According to the Rutgers football website, Keeler did not see game action in New Jersey. Still, his former coach and teammates at Rutgers mourned the loss of a player who "always had a smile on his face."

“We are devastated to hear of Ryan’s passing. From getting to know him as a recruit, to actually getting to coach him, what stood out most was his passion," Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano said in a statement. "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 thrived after transferring to UNLV. He played in seven games as a redshirt freshman this past season, and he made eight tackles and a sack. He made the academic All-Mountain West team and had a 3.80 GPA.

“We are devastated to have lost a member of our Rebel family,” UNLV 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.”

“Words are hard to come by this evening as we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of UNLV student-athlete Ryan Keeler,” UNLV President Keith Whitfield said in a statement. “My sincere condolences are with Ryan’s family, friends, loved ones, and teammates during this very difficult time.”

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