football Edit

DE Keon Keeley Is Notre Dame’s First 2023 Commitment

Notre Dame has its first commitment in the 2023 class, with Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep defensive end Keon Keeley ending his recruitment during the summer before his junior year of high school.

The Fighting Irish offered Keeley during its Pot of Gold recruiting initiative March 17, and defensive line coach Mike Elston and Co. recruited him hard in the following three months. Keeley made his way up to Notre Dame for a visit the weekend of June 11 and was blown away.

“Notre Dame is the right fit for me,” Keeley told “The coaching staff, the people, the campus — I feel that I can accomplish my goals in life by going to school at Notre Dame. You can’t go wrong by choosing Notre Dame; it has everything I want.”

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After wrapping up his Notre Dame visit, Keeley spoke with his family and high school head coach, Dominick Ciao, about the possibility of committing. Did he want to commit this early? Was Notre Dame the right decision? Ciao even had his own list of questions for the Irish staff.

The Keeley camp came to the decision of committing to the Fighting Irish. The 6-6, 230-pounder called Elston on Monday, June 21 to inform him of the commitment, and then Keeley spoke with defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and defensive recruiting coordinator Chad Bowden.

“They were all super excited,” Keeley said. “It felt really good.”

The term “Notre Dame-type kid” rings very true in Keeley’s case. He’s a very strong off-the-field fit for the Fighting Irish, and he felt that while he was on campus talking with true freshman defensive lineman Jason Onye.

“We hit it off and become good friends,” Keeley said. “I feel like I can talk to people at Notre Dame, and we all have similar ideas for what we want to do in the future. I’m comfortable talking to people there, and I think that with my personality, I fit in really well.”

Keeley is glad to become Notre Dame’s first commit of the 2023 cycle and help build the recruiting class.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “I’m starting off the class and am trying to get some guys with me. We’re going to be getting things going in 2023.”

Keeley also held offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, UCF, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Rivals has not ranked Keeley yet.

“I like to be me — friendly and nice to those around me — but on the field, I’m coming to work,” he said. “I’m going to play hard and win games. Whatever the team needs me to do, that’s what I’ll do. I want to win, win, win, win.

“I also want to be one of the best students in the classroom, be one of the nicest people in the community and help out as many people as I can.”



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