Whitmer looks to kick off week 6 with nationally recruited freshman quarterback

Whitmer looks to kick off week 6 with nationally recruited freshman quarterback

(WTOL) - As the Whitmer High School football team kicks off week six in the playoff hunt, Freshman Riley Keller has been handling business as the team's quarterback.

Last year at this time, Riley Keller was hanging out on the sidelines of the Whitmer football games while his dad was calling plays as the offensive coordinator. Now at just 14-years-old, he's the one with the reigns to the Panthers offense.

Keller came in during their week one game, when senior Shoe Sanders went down with an injury and hasn't looked back.

He's done a great job," said Head Coach Ken Winters. "He's mature beyond his age. He came in, and obviously having his dad being in and coaching football his whole life, he's been around it. I think that puts him ahead of the game. As far as his poise, it's been great. I don't think the kid gets nervous at all, he's the ultimate competitor."

For Keller, being a quarterback is in his blood. He's related to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. And his dad still holds the single game passing record at Whitmer.

Last week, as the team was preparing for their game against Central Catholic, Keller got even more recognition. He picked up his first scholarship offer from Ole Miss.

"After we got it, it was exciting, it would be for anybody," said Justin Keller, his dad. "The first thing that I told him was stay humble. I need you to, and before I could even finish my sentence, he said 'Dad, I'm more motivated than ever.' It was good, and I think he has things in perspective. He knows he still has to work hard and he has some aspects of his game that he has to improve on."

Keller says he wasn't expecting everything to happen so quickly.

"But, knowing that they're looking at it, I know I'm doing something right and I've just got to keep working. Stay humble about it, don't let it be a distraction to the team or myself. Just keep working hard until I can make the decision," said Keller.

He also recently picked up an offer from Jason candle and the University of Toledo. He's still more than a year away from getting his driver's license, but he has become a national recruit.

A year ago, he was throwing against 8th graders. This year, Keller has thrown 10 touchdown passes in his first five games and shows no signs of slowing down.

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