LAS VEGAS — A cause of death has been given for a former Chicago area prep football standout who was continuing his college career in Las Vegas.

Ryan Keeler, who attended Nazareth High School and was getting ready for his second season at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, died of a heart ailment according to the Clark County, Nevada coroners office.

Per their autopsy, it was found that he had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes the thickening of the heart muscle. On February 20, Keeler died of a fatal irregular heartbeat at the age of 20 in his apartment in Las Vegas.

A native of Chicago, the defensive lineman had just completed his first season at UNLV after transferring from Rutgers, where he spent his freshman season. He didn’t see any playing time during his one season with the Scarlet Knights.

During the 2022 campaign with the Rebels, Keeler played in seven games, registering eight tackles and a sack against Air Force on October 15 in a game at Allegiant Stadium. He also was an Academic All-Mountain West honoree after posting a 3.80 GPA in pre-business.

Keeler would have been playing in his first season under new head coach Barry Odom, who was hired in December.

Before college, Keeler was a three-star recruit for Nazareth High School in La Grange Park. He helped the team to a Class 7A state champioship in 2018 and a runner-up finish in 2019 as a junior.

“There are no words. Our hearts are heavy. God bless the Keeler family. We love you Ryan,” said the Nazareth football program in tribute to Keeler on social media.