The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the latest in a long line of schools attempting to coax Melvin Keihn into signing with their school. The talented outside linebacker now claims offers from more than 17 different schools.
It’s easy to see why so many schools are falling so hard for Keihn, who is considered one of the top 250 players nationally in the class of 2014 by rivals.com. A native of Liberia, Keihn came to the United States with his dad and stepmom about a decade ago, leaving his mother behind in Africa. The choice wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. The academics in America offered too much for the bright young man to turn down. After all, he wants to be an engineer, so where better to learn the skills of the trade than the ole U.S. of A? Bottom line- he’s a smart kid with a good heart, and we haven’t even broached the topic of his football skills yet.
The 6’3” 220lb pass rushing linebacker is a demon off the edge. He’s got excellent hips to pair with his astute read-and-react skills. As a sophomore for the elite Gilman School in Baltimore, he registered twelve sacks. As a junior, facing even more double-teams, he racked up 14 sacks. He’s a smart, strong, athletic linebacker who is adept at stopping the run, getting to the quarterback and dropping back in coverage. He doesn’t quite have the athletic prowess of Jaylon Smith, who just signed with the Irish last week, but he does have the heart.
There’s a good chance Keihn could be learning from Smith in the near future, however. The interest Notre Dame has in Keihn is mutual, as the star linebacker has been eyeing the Irish for some time now. Not only do the Irish have an incredibly prestigious football program, but they’re also internationally recognized for their academics (also doesn’t hurt they have a world class engineering program).
So do the Irish have a shot at the elite pass rusher? You bet they do. He’s getting a lot of interest from schools in the mid-Atlantic region, but none have the kind of name that Notre Dame has, both on and off the field. Soon, however, the boys from down south are going to get a whiff, especially after a third straight season with double digit sacks. And when that happens, the Irish will have a heck of a lot more competition for Keihn than they do now.
Rick Stavig is a National Recruiting Columnist for RantSports.com. In addition to covering College Football, he also covers the NFL and NFL Draft. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on google.