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Former Alabama LB excited about 5-star DL committing to the Tide for 2023

keon keeley after berekeley prep football game
Photo comes via Justin Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Alabama is losing a fearsome pass rusher to the 2023 NFL Draft, but has it gained a new one?

The Crimson Tide got a verbal commitment from five-star defensive lineman Keon Keeley. He chose the Tide on Tuesday as a superstar from Berkley Prep High School in Tampa, Fla. The 6-foot-6, 242-pounder has freakish range and athleticism on edge.

Keeley excels at finishing plays at the attack point. He chases down quarterbacks and running backs and has a nonstop motor. Keeley is the sixth five-star prospect in the 2023 class for Alabama, and a former Tide linebacker is excited about him.

RELATED: Alabama JUCO WR commit Malik Benson to play in NJCAA National Championship live on ESPN

Saleem Rasheed, who played at Alabama from 1999 to 2001, was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 2001.

He was one of the top tacklers and enforcers defensively for the Crimson Tide, but the former third-round pick of the 2002 NFL Draft likes what he sees from Keeley. Rasheed, a Birmingham native, said he likes Keeley’s explosiveness as a prospect.

*Saleem Rasheed discusses what he likes about 5-star Keon Keeley at the 20:07 mark

“His length and speed set him apart,” Rasheed said of Keeley on Tuesday’s episode of The Bama Standard. “If you look at the league today that’s what wins off the edge. If a guy uses his hands properly, those long, rangy guys who are fast, it is hard for offensive linemen to get their hands on them. What stands out to me about him is his height. I love his height, speed, and aggression. He finishes on those plays and punishes the victim, whether the running back or the quarterback.”

Rasheed said he ‘loves’ Keeley’s upside. 

“He is an exciting player to watch,” Rasheed said. “I love his potential. I want to see it translate over to the collegiate level, but what jumps off the page is his speed, range, and length. I love that about him, and I hope it translates to success on the field on Saturdays in college football.”

Keeley has a fan in a former Tide standout.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

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