Keller contributes to North Dakota's national title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The son of a 1986 Connellsville graduate and Falcon football player is making a name for himself in college football.
Kicker Adam Keller, the son of Robert Keller, helped North Dakota State University win its second consecutive national championship title earlier this month. NDSU beat Sam Houston State in the Football Championship Subdivision national final in Frisco, Texas.
Keller is a 2010 graduate of Red Land High School in central Pennsylvania, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. This past season, he was a redshirt sophomore at NDSU, where he was chosen as the first-team all-conference kicker for the Missouri Valley Conference.
Prior to the national championship game on Jan. 5, Keller tied the NDSU school record of 16 field goals in a season. His longest field goal was 49 yards against Youngstown State, and he was also NDSU's leading scorer with 104 points.
Keller is a business marketing major and carries a 3.3 GPA. He has two more years of football eligibility. Prior to this past season, he did not play because of a senior player in front of him as well as an injury to his hamstring.
“This year I knew it was my position for the taking, and someone else was going to have to beat me out in order to lose the spot,” Keller said. “I knew if I continued to get better I would probably be named the starter.”
His personal goals for the season were to help his team win the conference and a national championship, plus earn all-conference honors. He accomplished all of those. Going into the championship game, Keller said he felt confident that the preparation he and his team had done would be enough to win.
The first half ended with Keller missing a 50-yard field goal, but he made up for that more than once in the second half, including throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass. He had never thrown a touchdown pass before, and there really wasn't a plan for that.
“We are taught if anything goes wrong to give a ‘fire' call in which the guys on the end of the line release out for a pass,” Keller said. “Other than that there is no organization beyond that.”
He added that the play was more of a reaction rather than him having any time to feel confident in what he was doing. In addition to his touchdown pass, Keller made one of two field goals and all four extra-point attempts as NDSU cruised to a 39-13 triumph.
“What I took away from this experience is the understanding of what it truly takes to be successful, not only on the football field but in life as well,” Keller said.
And while the next season doesn't begin until fall, Keller said there's not much down time between seasons.
“We start training (in January) with lifting and running, and spring ball then begins around the beginning of April,” he said.
Rachel R. Basinger is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates’ Martin calls crowd chant ‘petty special’
- East Huntingdon man dies following police chase
- Rossi: Pirates can’t waste McCutchen’s prime
- Giants, Bumgarner shut out Pirates in wild-card game
- C&S Hardware, a Main Street fixture for 20 years, closes in Saxonburg
- Bumgarner quiets Blackout crowd with 4-hit shutout
- Hearing set on dangerous intersection in Rostraver
- Harrison man to be tried for rape
- Rental woes worry West Leechburg
- Homeless man held for robbing Rostraver stores
- Google Chromebooks, apps transform instruction at Knoch