He'd been to plenty of camps already, and was stellar in them all, taking MVP awards at his most recent showing at a NIKE Combine this last week. It might be argued that this camp, though, the Nebraska camp, even if it was only for one day, was the most important one of them all.
After all, this is a dyed-in-the-wool-born-n-bred Husker fan, so what could be better than getting an offer from the Huskers?
With the day now in the rearview mirror, Keller reflected a bit on his performance and as you would expect from a consummate perfectionist, he thought he could have done better. "I would have liked to have tested better, but I did ok," Keller said of his 4.63/40, 4.30 agility time and his 36 inch vertical. "The drills went good, though. I was pretty happy with that."
He was happy and for good reason, as I can safely say from a day of following the standout prepster around, he did nothing to hurt his stock. At 6 foot, 2 inches and 225 pounds, Keller moves extremely well. You look at his vertical and you think explosiveness, but you really get to see it on the field.
In various drills, from those meant to test his footwork, to the one-on-ones, Keller exhibited a very quick and compact stride, which meant he had great leg-drive, able to take most of those he went against, off of their feet.
|Keller sports his own uniquie jersey for|
his one-day camp at the Big Red Football
But that's not what has made myself a Keller fan. To put it simply; the kid's a player, and I mean that in the sense, when this kid hits the field, it's game time.
"That's just how I play, so I don't really think about it too much," he said. "That's just football to me."
He's not the only one who was impressed and let's face it, there were a group of people Keller didn't mind if they came away feeling as good about his performance as he or we did. "Coach Norvell and coach Cosgrove both said they really liked how I played and that now they needed to take my camp film and review it with coach Callahan," Noah said. "After that, I am supposed to get a hold of them next week and give them a call, but only when both of my parents are home."
Does that signify an offer is soon coming? Do these kinds of comments mean it's now no longer if, but when? Keller feels good about what he did, but he isn't thinking that far ahead. "I don't know. I guess we'll just see what they have to say," Noah said of when he talks to the coaches next week. "I felt like I could have done better, but I thought I did pretty well."
And if that offer does come, will Keller reciprocating the show of appreciation be just a matter of time? Again, Keller isn't thinking that far ahead. "If I get it, hey, it's an offer from Nebraska, but I doubt I would commit right there," he said. "I still want to look at all my options, not rush into anything and make sure of what I want to do."
"The offer from Nebraska would be great, but I am not going to commit, just because it's Nebraska."
Maybe the big question isn't about Keller's ability, because he seems to have that. And it's hard to dispute the often-times eye popping numbers he's put up in the camps he's participated in.
It's about need, and does Nebraska need a Noah Keller right now?
Projecting Keller to middle linebacker, Nebraska returns their starting MIKE, redshirt junior Corey McKeon. Behind him is true sophomore Phillip Dillard. Both are excellent players, each bringing a different aspect to their game; McKeon a more slight LB, but dynamite on cleats, with the aggression of a lion, and Dillard brings great athleticism for someone pushing 250 pounds, an ability to work in space and coverage, along with his own insane disposition on the field.
With Lance Brandenburgh's move to the WILL spot, it has opened up a vacancy at middle, where there is no clear cut person at third string. So, when you are looking at your starting being gone in two years, his back up in three – yeah, it's time to find at least one more.
Is Keller that guy? Does he qualify in the minds of the Husker coaches as deserving of a full ride with the big red? Keller has to have the ability, which we think he does. Nebraska has to have the need, which they do have, at least for one spot. The last and possibly the most important question has to be answered then, and that is whether or not they can find another linebacker, who can give them at least everything Keller has, but is an easier shot to get.
|Keller scores a rushing TD|
during 7-on-7. His team
went 6-0 on the day
That's where it gets interesting:
Brian Smith out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Overland Park, Kansas has an offer, and his frame is almost identical to that of Kellers, Smith standing 6 foot, 2 inches, while weighing 220 pounds and he runs a 4.6/40.
Nebraska has offered Massillon, Ohio's Andrew Dailey, a 6 foot, 3 inch, 215 pound linebacker, who also runs a reported 4.6.
Pat Lazear, a 6 foot, 232 pound linebacker, who runs a 4.6 as well, is an impressive prospect, but off-the-field issues could put him at the back of the pack.
Smith is looking at close to double-digit offers, including Arizona State, Michigan State and Kansas State, along with Purdue. Dailey, smack dab in the middle of Big 10 country has an offer from Penn State, along with an offer from the Florida Gators. With Keller being a Nebraska native, that's obviously one thing favoring the Huskers, but his only other offer is from Colorado State.
Just from the outside looking in, it would seem Nebraska should have a significant advantage.
If the offer comes, though, we know how that goes: Other schools notice the young man, take a look at his numbers and suddenly, Keller becomes yet another hot property out of the Husker state.
And that's actually been Keller's problem, something he's tried desperately to rectify this year, because getting noticed is exactly what he's been attempting to do.
If Nebraska does that and extends a written offer within the next week or two, I'd say that Keller should be Nebraska's to lose. Noah isn't saying that, but when you've grown up a fan of the big red, getting that official offer must be something else indeed.
So, it's only time, which will tell us what will happen, if Keller gets his offer and, of course, what Noah eventually does.
Suffice it to say, though, Keller has made sure that he's been giving everyone a real good look as to just what kind of player and person he is. "All I can do is the best I can and we'll see what happens," he said. "I feel good about it, but we'll just have to see."