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Nebraska Recruiting: Ryan Keeler Has ‘Amazing’ First Husker Game

September 17, 2019

Recruiting never stops and it's easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.

We’ve talked here before about how well Nebraska is doing at getting key 2021 targets on campus early and often. Illinois 2021 defensive end Ryan Keeler‍ was in Lincoln for the Big Red BBQ last June and he was back in town last weekend for the night game against Northern Illinois. He came away quite impressed. 

“The whole experience was amazing,” Keeler told Hail Varsity. “The fans are wild, when I was on the field before the game and I looked around in the stands every single seat was filled. Walking though the parking lot and seeing all the fans tailgating was super cool. During the game the different chants were super loud and the whole stadium was participating. I definitely can fit in their defense. I was talking to [defensive line] Coach Tuioti about the defense and he said that I could play any position on the defensive line because of my abilities.”

Keeler says that he and Tuioti are building a pretty good relationship. They met at the Big Red BBQ where they spent a lot of time together. They had the chance to catch up over the weekend. Keeler also spent time with graduate assistant Tony Washington Jr. 

The Illinois native intends to have a busy fall. He will take trips to Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota, Iowa and Penn State. He’s already taken trips to Purdue and Nebraska. He hasn’t ruled out returning to Lincoln for another game this fall either. It’s hard for him to say which schools are sticking out now but he does have an idea of what he wants in a school.

“I am looking for how I fit in with the players and also the style of play,” Keeler said. “In coaches I look for genuine care for the players and coaches who develop players.”

Keeler got to reconnect with sophomore defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt while in Lincoln. The pair met at the Big Red BBQ event that has brought big returns for Nebraska. Coming out of the visit Keeler said that the fans’ enthusiasm and their level of participation in the game was the most memorable part of the visit.

Keep in mind that it wasn't only the recruits experiencing their first night game at Memorial Stadium. Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti got his first shot to see the atmosphere under the lights too. 

“It was awesome. The night game experience, it was my first,” Tuioti said. “That was really cool to see the fireworks and all that stuff. I’m not used to seeing that. Nebraska does a great job of putting on a great and nice display for everybody. That was awesome for the recruits that were here. They were able to see the lights and get the whole stadium lit up with the cell phones. They showed me after the game all the pictures that they took so it definitely left a lasting impression on them.”

Once again, there is no place like Nebraska. 

Recruit Watch

>> Rodney Groce, the No. 2 inside linebacker in the state of Alabama, will be visiting Nebraska for the Ohio State game. 

>> Nusi Malani, a 3-star defensive end from California, enjoyed his official visit to Lincoln over the weekend.

>> Rico Powers, a wide receiver from Georgia, committed to South Carolina on Tuesday. The Huskers had interest in the pass catcher. 


>> Nebraska’s defense has been on the field a lot (Premium) so far in 2019 but they say it’s no problem, writes Derek Peterson.

>> Arizona pass rusher Regen Terry found a lot to like (Premium) in Lincoln during his official visit. 

>> You can never be too cautious with superstitions as you’ll learn in the latest Lo-Down.

>> The second annual Hail Varsity food issue arrives this week and you’ll find lots of great features inside. 

> > Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander spoke on Tuesday about the Huskers finishing a game and more. 

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