Keelan Smith decided to keep the family legacy going last Friday by committing to Nebraska. Keelan’s father Neil played defensive end for the Cornhuskers from 1984-1987 before starting his NFL career. Only time will tell if Keelan can fill the big shoes his father left in Lincoln, but for now the Smith family is just cherishing the moment, as Neil spoke with HuskerOnline‘s Sean Callahan and Steven Sipple about his reaction to his son’s commitment.
“You know how kids are, they like to follow in footsteps. They try to duplicate everything that you do so I commend Keelan” Smith said. “He don’t really know about my college situation he’s sure aware of it.”
Keelan may not know about his father’s college day, but he might want to do his research. After recording 49 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 5.0 sacks his junior season, Neil Smith leveled up his senior season with Nebraska. Smith was voted a co-captain of the team entering the season and ended the season as a First-Team All-American a First-Team All-Big 8 honoree.
He ended the season with 65 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks along with two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, a blocked field goal, three pass breakups, and an interception. Smith was drafted No. 2 overall in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, starting a 13-year NFL career that his son is likely more familiar with.
He led the NFL in sacks in 1993 with 15, earning the lone First-team All-Pro selection of his career. He’d go on to earn Second-team All-Pro honors three times, was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, and won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos in 1997 and 1998. Neil was also selected to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and is a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Keelan may not have his father’s resume or accolades, but he does share his blood, and could be next up in the family to make an impact at Nebraska.
Keelan Smith is a three-star prospect out of Liberty North high school in Missouri, where he was ranked the No. 885 overall recruit and the No. 50 recruit at the ATH position designation in the 2024 class according to On3’s Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.
6-foot-3, 210-pounder has been playing a hybrid wide receiver/tight end role at the high school level, recording 50 receptions for 850 yards and 11 touchdowns in his junior season last year.
The post Neil Smith shares feelings on son, Keelan, committing to Nebraska appeared first on On3.