With the continued success of Ireland’s defensive line and impressive coaching from Al Washington, does Notre Dame football still have a shot at Keon Keeley?
At first glance, the ship has sailed for Keon Keeley and Notre Dame Football, and while that may be the case, the door still seems a bit open. It looks to be a two-team race for the talented defensive end at Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla. Alabama and Ohio State have been trying to lock down the 5-star recruit since his confinement from the Notre-Dame football program.
Florida has been rumored to be in, but that’s more of a pity gesture from Keeley. Outside of Georgia, the SEC is struggling this year, and even with that, Florida is 6-5 overall. While the allure of playing close to home might play a role here, I don’t think that’s the case with Keon.
There’s no question that he was once extremely high off Coach Freeman and Notre Dame Football, so why the change of heart? With Alabama heavily interfering, Keeley began to ponder his decision quite a bit. Regardless of whether you’re a secondary option, when Alabama hooks up with top recruits, they tend to listen. Will Keeley go to Alabama and just be another guy or go somewhere to be “the guy”? We’ve seen senior recruits transfer from Alabama for lack of game time; In fact, it happened to Trey Sanders just a few hours ago.
There are still some aspects of the recruitment process in favor of Notre Dame regarding Keon’s recruitment. Tre Reader and Troy Reader, brothers from Berkeley Prep and friends of Keeley, move to South Bend to continue their athletic and academic careers. Tre is a favorite walk-on for the Notre Dame Football Team as a linebacker, while his brother Troy just signed with Notre Dame Baseball. Would Keon like having some guys that you were close with and could travel home with? It doesn’t seem like the most important factor, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
If recognition early in his career is important to the young man, perhaps there is no better place than Notre Dame. Coach Freeman is ready to play against the most talented players like Benjamin Morrison, regardless of age. If All-American recognition appeals to your freshman year, look no further.
I would love for coaches Freeman and Washington not to throw in the towel but to become more aggressive in their attempt to bring Keon back.
There’s no doubt what Marcus Freeman and his staff build is special, but finding and retaining the best recruits is crucial. With a full year at the helm of Recruitment, Coach Freeman is setting the Class of 2024 for even more success. If I had to guess, Keeley is traveling to Tuscaloosa to play for Coach Saban. While most say they’re done, something tells me Notre Dame isn’t out of this race.