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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Top 2023 DE Keon Keeley Recaps Multi-Day Notre Dame Visit

June 13, 2021

2023 Berkeley Prep (Fla.) defensive end Keon Keeley‍ made his way to South Bend for a three-day unofficial visit over the weekend. 

The 6-foot-6, 230-pounder had heard a lot about Notre Dame as his friend, Troy Reader, is committed to Link Jarrett's squad, and the trip didn't disappoint. 

"It was really good," Keeley told ISD. "The trip was awesome. The coaches did a really good job of showing us around. The people were really nice and everyone made my mom and I feel welcome. The campus was really nice and the people in South Bend are really nice." 

Zoom and FaceTime have dominated the recruiting process over the last year and it was refreshing for Keeley to have in-person communication on his visit. 

Keeley and his mother were able to meet just about every coach at Notre Dame and much of their time was spent with defensive line coach Mike Elston.

"Meeting Coach Elston was amazing," stated Keeley. "He came up to me with welcoming arms. When I got there, he was waiting outside for me. He and Coach (Chad) Bowden treated me great from Thursday to Saturday.

"I got to see Coach Elston coach at the camp and he showed me some things, so it was cool to see how he coaches. It was great to see how he treats his players. I got to eat with his family and they were welcoming. He's a great coach." 

Defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman also left a positive impression as he stressed the value of Notre Dame. 

"Coach Freeman also did an amazing job when my mom and I got to talk to him," explained Keeley. "Everything he told us was about the important things about Notre Dame - the education, working hard every day and wanting to win and be the better you. 

"I feel he's coming in with a lot of new things that can help Notre Dame and help them win even more. They've been winning, but I just know he's going to come with a lot of energy." 

Notre Dame's staff was also able to show Keeley how he fit into the Irish defense. Elston was able to go over film of past players to show Keeley exactly how he'd be used.

"They see me as a Vyper," Keeley said. "I did get to see some film of the Vyper and how it compares to me. That was really cool to have Coach Elston show me where I could fit into the defense if I went there." 

Notre Dame's players were moving back to campus for the majority of his visit, so Keeley didn't get a ton of time with members of the current roster. 

Keeley did get the chance to meet freshman defensive end Jason Onye, who was essentially experiencing the campus for the first time as he had only taken an independent visit last year.

"We hit it off and we talked about everything because it was his and my first time seeing the facilities," said Keeley. "We were kind of in the same boat, so it was nice we got to see some things at the same time." 

With three visits down, Keeley will now take some time off to prepare for the season, as he doesn't expect to make any more visits this month.

"As of now, I don't have any other visits," Keeley explained. "I took a few visits to other schools, so I don't think I'm going to take any other visits. I might, but I'm not 100 percent sure." 

And when it comes to a commitment, Keeley isn't rushing any decision as he wants to weigh his options and find the right program.

"I'm unsure about that because I like to take my time and look over things," said Keeley. "I want to find the right fit and I'm considering all schools and I'm thankful for the schools that have given me an opportunity. 

"I'm considering all the teams and coaches believe that in me." 

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