Source: ASU's Keller will enroll at Nebraska

Updated: August 22, 2006, 7:34 PM ET
ESPN.com

Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller is expected to enroll at Nebraska, a source close to Keller told ESPN.com's Joe Schad on Tuesday.

Sam Keller
Rick Scuteri/US PresswireSam Keller, seen here during an Arizona State scrimmage, was one of the top-rated passers in Division I-A in 2005 before he got hurt.

An official announcement is expected Thursday. Keller, who was named the Sun Devils' starting quarterback on Friday only to lose the job to sophomore Rudy Carpenter two days later, had also considered transferring to Louisville or UTEP, not Colorado or Oklahoma, as reported elsewhere, the source said.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com reported earlier that Keller was told Monday by ASU coach Dirk Koetter that he would be released from his scholarship.

Keller's mother, Melissa Coveney, told Schad late Monday night that an official announcement was not likely until Thursday. But on Tuesday morning, Schad reported that Nebraska coaches had discussed Keller's pending arrival and that Nebraska's quarterbacks had been briefed on the decision.

Mike Keller, the quarterback's father, is a former professional football player and knows Nebraska coach Bill Callahan. Keller would have one season of eligibility left and would succeed senior Zac Taylor as Nebraska's starting QB in 2007.

The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star reported on its Web site Monday night that two sources close to the Cornhuskers program said Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell had phoned the team's quarterbacks to inform them of the coaches' intent to bring Keller aboard. One of the sources, however, said "it's not a done deal."

The newspaper also reported that Mike Keller said his son had been released from his scholarship by Arizona State.

Keller, who started seven games for Arizona State last season before breaking his thumb, would have to sit out this coming season under NCAA transfer rules if he decides to leave the Sun Devils for another Division I-A program. He would have one season of eligibility remaining in 2007.

Keller was one of the top-rated passers in Division I-A in 2005 before he was hurt, completing 58 percent of his passes (155-for-264) for 2,165 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Carpenter rallied the Sun Devils to a 4-1 record in their last five games last season and was named MVP of Arizona State's 45-40 victory over Rutgers in the Insight Bowl. He led Division I-A in pass efficiency by completing 68 percent of his passes (156-for-228) for 2,273 yards with 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

The players were involved in one of the most intense position battles in college football during preseason camp. Koetter announced Keller would be the team's starting quarterback Friday, but then abruptly reversed his decision two days later after meeting with the school's athletic director and a group of team leaders.

"It's simple. I made a mistake on the quarterback situation and I'm changing my mind," Koetter said after Sunday's practice.

Keller, from Danville, Calif., would seem to be a perfect fit for Nebraska coach Bill Callahan's West Coast offense. Taylor is a senior, and highly regarded freshman Harrison Beck went AWOL during Nebraska's preseason camp and transferred to North Carolina State.

If Keller leaves Arizona State, the Sun Devils would have only one other scholarship quarterback on their roster: freshman Danny Sullivan.

ESPN.com college football reporters Mark Schlabach and Joe Schad contributed to this story.

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