Millersville (Pa.) Penn Manor long snapper Matt Keller has committed to Syracuse. Keller was one of 14 prospects on campus during a big official weekend for the Orange, and pulled the trigger before heading home, he told CuseNation.com.
"The coaching staff is a real honest staff," Keller said. "Everyone there has been tremendous to me but I really like the feel of the campus. It's not too different than where I'm from. It's not really in the city and it's a little suburban. Also, coach Gould is a great specialist coach. He was a kicker himself and knows long snapping. You don't get that at too many other schools, a guy that knows how to coach long snapping."
With Sam Rodgers using up his eligibility, there was a spot open on the roster for a scholarship long snapper. Keller was identified by Syracuse as one of the best at his position in his class. The Orange offered recently and moved quickly to get him on campus for a visit.
During the trip, Keller bonded with the coaching staff, which ended up being a big part of his decision.
"It was tremendous," Keller said. "We got to do so much stuff with all of the coaches around. There were coaches who I hadn't met before this. It was cool to get out there and talk to all of them. All of the coaches are really good guys. They'll get into you when they have to, obviously, because they're football coaches. They're real honest guys."
The trip wasn't the first for Keller, who had taken in a game earlier this season. But it solidified Syracuse as the place for him.
"I came up for a game when they played N.C. state," Keller said. "So I got to see it then. I really liked it then. Playing in a dome is a big selling point. They just got that new indoor practice facility too. Seeing the basketball game was awesome seeing them bring the fans closer. It's a really cool atmosphere."
Being able to play major division one football was not something Keller envisioned for himself, and is grateful for the opportunity.
"It's a blessing, man," Keller said. "I'm not some crazy athlete who's going to be running to be running all over the field or making 4.4 40-time speed or catching balls for touchdowns and stuff like that. So if you had asked me if I'd be playing major college football, I would've said no way."
With his decision made, Keller is focused on earning a starting gig.
"There's competition right off the bat for who's going to get that position," Keller said. "There's always guys trying to fight for a spot and I'm going to be right in that mix."
Keller's only offer was from Syracuse, but was receiving strong interest from North Carolina and Louisville. Keller joins walk-ons Nathan Hines and Keith Mitsuuchi as long snappers on the roster. He will enroll in January.