Head Coach Greg Schiano and Defensive Line Coach Jim Panagos added another player to the 2021 class that is now 22 members deep. The top Defensive Lineman from Illinois, Ryan Keeler, committed via Twitter on Tuesday.

At 6’5” and 250 pounds, Keeler plays at Nazareth Academy, though the entire state of Illinois has elected to cancel its fall high school football season. He chose Rutgers over Michigan, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, and Virginia, the biggest contenders for his services at this stage of the process. Ryan had 21 total Power Five offers including nine Big Ten schools. It was a strong relationship with Panagos during a visit to Minnesota last year that steered him toward the Knights. He is ranked the 18th best prospect in Illinois’s 2021 class and 40th best strong-side defensive end in the nation per 247 Sports composite rankings.

Keeler arrives at Rutgers to a defensive line group that has filled its ranks with reinforcement after reinforcement since Greg Schiano and the new coaching staff arrived following the conclusion of the 2019 campaign. It’s clear Rutgers is adding as many big people as possible to try and lift themselves out of the Big Ten cellar. The bevy of transfers possess varying levels of remaining eligibility, so to ensure there is continuity, Ryan is the fifth defensive lineman commit in the 2021 class, joining Keshon Griffin, Henry Hughes, Cam’Ron Stewart, and Zaire Angoy. The 2021 class is currently ranked 36th nationally and 8th in the Big Ten per 247 Sports.

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