UCF picked up their seventh verbal commitment over the weekend from defensive end Blake Keller (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee). This Sunshine State defensive end product is headed to Orlando to play for George O’Leary and his Knights.
“They are getting a guy that motor runs at a very high speed on every play,” said Joe Kinnan, Manatee’s head coach for 27 of the last 31 years. “He’s very athletic and has the second best standing broad jump (9’10”) on our defense. This is a kid that eats, drinks and sleeps football. It’s in his blood and he’s a third generation Manatee Hurricane. His father and grandfather both played here.”
According to Kinnan, this 6-foot-2 and 215-pounder will fit right in with O’Leary and the UCF defense.
“Blake is exactly the kind of guy that they [UCF] are looking for,” Kinnan said. “He’s a hard-nosed kid that is just hitting puberty and starting to grow into that body of his. He’s from that mold that O’Leary loves.”
Keller picked UCF over teams likes USF, West Virginia, Iowa State and Pitt. All had offered.
“I think a few of the big reasons why he picked UCF is that they will let him put his hand on the ground,” Kinnan said. “It’s also close to home, about a two-hour drive. He will be close to his family and I think overall he was just very comfortable there.
“This kid will be academically very positive for that program. He will do all the right things off the field. He’s just a high character kid and a very good football player.”