What happened to Ryan Keeler? UNLV mourning tragic death of 20-year-old sophomore

UNLV mourning tragic death of Ryan Keeler
UNLV mourning tragic death of Ryan Keeler

Ryan Keeler, a football player at UNLV, died unexpectedly in Las Vegas on Monday, much to the shock of the footballing community. Keeler, who was 20 years old, was a defensive lineman from Chicago, Illinois, and had just finished his redshirt freshman season.

Last season, the Nazareth Academy graduate moved from Rutgers University to UNLV. He played in seven games and made eight tackles. He was highly sought after and got dozens of scholarship offers right out of high school. He was studying business and had a 3.80 GPA.


UNLV football head coach Barry Odom paid tribute to Keeler after his tragic death.

"We are devastated to have lost a member of our Rebel family, 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."

Everyone was taken aback by the sudden announcement, considering Keeler was in good physical condition. His UNLV teammates and high school, Nazareth Academy, also shared the devastating news on social media.

Ryan Keeler cause of death unknown

Ryan Keeler
Ryan Keeler

The Las Vegas Review-Journal was the first to report his death, however, the cause of Keeler's death is still unknown. The details are expected to come out soon. UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield also released a statement following Keeler's death. The statement said:

"Words are hard to come by this evening as we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of UNLV student-athlete Ryan Keeler. My sincere condolences are with Ryan's family, friends, loved ones, and teammates during this very difficult time."

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Keeler played in two games for the Rebels, totaling eight tackles and one sack. He earned his first collegiate sack only last October when facing off against Air Force.

This isn't the first time that a University of Nevada student has died in a shocking manner. Nathan Valencia, a University of Nevada, Los Angeles student, died on Nov. 19, 2021, after taking part in the fraternity's amateur fight night fundraising event.

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