With National Signing Day fast approaching, Ashley senior Frankie Keller held out hope for his first football scholarship offer. The long-awaited news came Sunday morning at the end of an official visit to Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., and the 6-foot-2, 280-pound lineman wasted little time accepting.
Keller plans to make the oral commitment to join the Football Championship Subdivision Blue Hose official on Feb. 5. He cancelled planned visits to Division II UNC-Pembroke and Mercyhurst and also by-passed preferred walk-on opportunities at East Carolina and Appalachian State.
“It was definitely difficult getting down to the end stretch of it,” Keller said. “I was always positive and had faith that things were going to work out the way they were supposed to.”
Keller played virtually every meaningful varsity snap on the line for Ashley over the past four years, but he found gaining notice from college coaches difficult, especially given the team’s struggles.
Keller said he understood the challenge early on and flooded college coaches with e-mails and letters over the past year and a half. He credited coach Tom Eanes for his determination through the recruiting process, and other area coaches helped out, too.
West Brunswick coach Scott Frazier was a former assistant at Presbyterian and gave a high recommendation to Blue Hose offensive coordinator Todd Varn, who he once worked with at Western Carolina.
It was Varn who pulled Keller aside after dinner in the president’s suite at Bailey Memorial Stadium on Saturday night and told the lineman to expect an offer. Keller said he had trouble sleeping that night but called the decision to accept “easy.”
“It’s a really good place to be,” said Keller, who plans to major in education with a minor in athletic coaching. “There’s a lot of good people there. It’s a great school. I spoke with a couple professors, and they were passionate about what they do.”
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