- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
The recruiting process is just beginning for Barrington, Ill., offensive tackle Jack Keeler, but he already has a pretty solid foundation with a handful of schools, including the ones that have already offered.
Toledo, West Virginia and Western Michigan have all offered Keeler, who has friends and former teammates at both Toledo and Western Michigan.
Two-star Barrington inside linebacker Chase Murdock signed with Toledo on Feb. 1.
“I’ve talked to [Toledo] before; they stopped by a few times,” Keeler said. “They liked me. There are some nice guys there. Chase said he loves the family aspect of it and that it’s not too far away.”
Class of 2011 guard Jimmy Kristoff, another one of Keeler’s former teammates, signed with Western Michigan last February. Keeler visited Kristoff with a couple of other friends two weeks ago. Kristoff didn’t have one bad thing to say about Western Michigan, Keeler said.
“He said good things about all of us to the coaches,” Keeler said. “The coaches there know the offensive linemen [from Barrington] are getting taught by one of the best offensive line coaches around in Steve Galovich. We already have a good name before seeing us. Then they saw my highlight film and were really impressed.”
West Virginia assistant Bill Bedenbaugh is Keeler’s recruiter for the Mountaineers, and the two talked a few times over the last few weeks.
“They liked to see I play through the whistle and stay low and move real well for a big guy,” Keeler, who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 285 pounds, said.
This coming weekend, Keeler will visit Wisconsin. Another former teammate, 2012 signee Dan Voltz, will play for the Badgers this fall. Voltz is already enrolled in classes at Wisconsin.
“He couldn’t have made a better choice he said,” Keeler said of his conversations with Voltz about Wisconsin. “It completely changed his life and he loves it.”
Keeler also reports interest from Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northern Illinois and South Florida.
454dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert