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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2023 Notre Dame DE Commit Keon Keeley Fired Up for Future in South Bend

October 31, 2021

2023 Berkeley Prep (Fla.) defensive end Keon Keeley‍ took a multi-day visit to Notre Dame in June and committed shortly after the trip. 

The four-star prospect was back in South Bend this weekend to get his first game experience and it didn't disappoint. 

"It felt amazing," Keeley told ISD. "The atmosphere was crazy. The fans were everywhere and to see South Bend packed was awesome. It just felt great." 

Keeley also enjoyed experiencing his first player walk and he was the center of attention as the defensive coaches showed him plenty of love. 

But it didn't stop there as several fans made sure to call out the 6-foot-6, 235-pounder's name before the Irish arrived at the stadium. 

"That was crazy," laughed Keeley. "A couple people yelled my name at The Walk and it was really cool to know the fanbase knows of me and cares. It made me feel really welcomed and loved." 

Keeley made the trip with his best friend, Troy Reader, a 2023 Notre Dame baseball commit, and the weekend served as a look into their future. 

"Everywhere we went, we were really excited," said Keeley. "We were talking about how crazy it was going to be when we get to Notre Dame. He went on his baseball visit and had a good time. 

"We were just both genuinely excited to be there. The campus in the fall was really beautiful." 

The visit also presented the opportunity for Keeley to meet with the defensive staff for the first time face-to-face since June. 

"The conversations went well," explained Keeley. "We talked about the importance of the Notre Dame degree and where I fit into the defense. Coach Elston used a lot of Isaiah Foskey's film this year to compare me to what my role would be and he showed me my strengths. He showed me how I would be used in the defense and just reminded me why I chose Notre Dame. 

"I talked to the whole staff all day. It was amazing." 

Defensive line coach Mike Elston made time to head to the film room to show Keeley how he'd fit into the Irish defense. 

"Coach Elston said I'm a copy and paste of (Isaiah) Foskey - a 2.0 version because I'm long, muscular and can run. Coach Elston said he didn't realize how many plays Foskey made until they turned on the tape. 

"I had breakfast with Coach Elston and Foskey this morning, so that was pretty cool." 

Saturday night was also the first time Keeley saw Marcus Freeman's defense live and he saw a perfect fit. 

"I loved his defense," Keeley said. "I feel they're not scared to take risks on certain plays and they go all out. They used all the players on the field to gain an edge on the other team. 

"I really liked how he calls plays and manages the game. In certain moments, we needed big plays and we made those plays. I really love how he controls the defense." 

Keeley also did some recruiting as several of Notre Dame's top 2023 defensive targets were on campus. 

"I talked to all of them and they loved the campus," said Keeley. "We had some good talks and they all think really highly of Notre Dame. I was glad to get to talk to them and spend the day with them." 

Junior Highlights

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