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Coroner rules on death of UNLV football player

Updated June 5, 2023 - 2:51 pm

The Clark County coroner’s office on Monday said it had determined what killed a UNLV football player earlier this year.

Ryan Keeler, 20, died Feb. 20 from cardiac dysrhythmia due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to a statement from a county spokesperson. His death was ruled natural.

Keeler was found in a studio bedroom. The county said he had a fatal arrhythmia due to thickening of the heart muscle.

“We join the community and members of UNLV Athletics in mourning the loss of this rising football star and send our condolences to Ryan’s family and friends,” the county statement read.

Keeler, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound pass rusher, transferred to UNLV ahead of the 2022 football season after spending one season at Rutgers. He played in seven games, accumulating eight tackles and a sack during the 2022 season.

The Chicago native was described by former teammates and coaches as a bright, energetic and authentic individual, who made a lasting impact despite only spending one year with the Rebels.

UNLV held a vigil in honor of Keeler’s life and legacy Feb. 27 at the Fertitta Football Complex, where the team and coach Barry Odom dedicated the upcoming season to Keeler’s memory.

Keeler’s family could not be reached for comment Monday. UNLV issued a statement following the release of the coroner’s report.

“The UNLV family continues to share in the grief over Ryan’s passing, and our deepest sympathies remain with his loved ones, teammates and friends,” a UNLV spokesperson said. “His tragic and untimely death has left a void in the lives of those who knew him and our community.”

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter. Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.

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