Texas Tech football: JUCO OL Matt Keeler commits to Red Raiders

Monday, the Texas Tech football program picked up a commitment from 3-star offensive lineman Matt Keeler.

Less than a month before the traditional signing day for high school football recruits, the Texas Tech football program has picked up a verbal commitment at a much-needed position.  On Monday, 3-star offensive lineman Matt Keeler gave his pledge to the Red Raiders becoming the third offensive lineman in Tech’s 2021 recruiting class.

What makes Keeler an intriguing prospect is that he is already two years removed from his high school career but he still has all four years of eligibility remaining.  That’s due to the fact that he went to a preparatory school in 2019 and 2020 did not count against a player’s eligibility.  Thus, this is a player who might be mature enough, both physically and mentally, to come in and compete for playing time right away.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pounder picked up his offer from the Red Raiders two days after Christmas and has since been believed to be a strong lean towards Tech.  However, a recent offer from Virginia Tech gave him a reason to evaluate his options.  In addition, he also held offers from the likes of Arizona State, Hawaii, Mississippi State, East Carolina, and Louisiana.

It was important for Tech to add another offensive lineman to this class.  And we all expected that addition to be either a JUCO or grad transfer who could theoretically come in and challenge for a starting spot to help upgrade a position group that wasn’t up to par in 2020.

On one hand, Tech is set to return four of this past year’s five starters along the offensive front.  The only one not coming back for the 2021 season is right guard Jack Anderson, who is headed to the NFL Draft.

But the problem is that Tech needs an influx of talent along the offensive line, especially at tackle.  Many believe that Josh Burger, who started every game in 2020 at right tackle, would be better suited to play guard and that he could be the natural replacement for Anderson.  Meanwhile, Ethan Carde began the season at left tackle but lost his starting job to freshman Caleb Rogers late in the season.

In other words, there are likely to be plenty of moving parts along the o-line this year, especially with new offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie taking over for David Yost.  Fortunately, Tech now has another player to throw into the mix in Matt Keeler who should be expected to compete for immediate playing time when he steps on campus this spring.