Ohio Division IV Defensive Player of the Year, Hank Keighley accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Toledo. The Rockets are focusing on bringing in a lot of defensive players in the 2008 recruiting class, and Hank is just what Toledo needs on the defensive line.
Hank Keighley is a 6-4 and 230 pound defensive end from Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering, OH. Hank earned Ohio Division IV Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2007 after recording 62 solo tackles and 23 tackles for loss.
Rocket Digest recently caught up with Hank to discuss his recruitment and to talk about his future.
"I had offers from Toledo, Ohio University, Kent State, and Buffalo," Hank told Rocket Digest. The star defensive end visited all four schools and Indiana, but made his commitment to Toledo shortly after his official visit.
"I liked how the campus was organized," said Keighley. "I loved how you have to pass by the stadium every day to go to classes," he added.
Hank was recruited by UT defensive line coach Mark Rhea, but he got to talk to head coach Tom Amstutz several times. "I made a couple of unofficial visits to Toledo and got to talk to Coach Amstutz each time," Hank said. "When I came in for my official visit, I talked to Coach Amstutz for 15-20 minutes that morning. Then we had a team breakfast the last day and he (Coach Amstutz) sat at our table and talked about football and fishing with us for about an hour," Hank remembered.
Toledo sophomore defensive end Alex Johnson was Hank's host during his official visit. Hank also got to hang out with some other high school seniors that were on visits. "There was two guys from Hamilton, Damien McIntosh and Kenny Veal," Hank told Rocket Digest when asked who he hung out with at the official visit to Toledo. "Fadi Farha was there to," he added.
Hank is a very good student with a cumulative 3.45 GPA. Obviously with that kind of a GPA, Hank was looking at academic status as well. When asked about what he liked about at Toledo, Hank replied, "I liked the academic aspect. I liked how Toledo has a bunch of different majors to choose from. I have though about going into Pre-Med," Hank concluded.
Hank's coach at Alter High School loves to talk about Hank. "It is easy to talk about Hank because it is all positive," said Alter High School head football coach Ed Domsitz. "He is a fine student, was an excellent captain for us this past season and is, perhaps the best defensive end I have had the pleasure of coaching in my 32 years as a head coach," Domsitz added.
Both Hank and his coach commented that his speed and ability to pass rush are a big strength for him. "My best 40 time was 4.69 on the laser," said Keighley. "I get off the ball pretty quick and am good with my hands," he added.
Hank earned his blackbelt at the age of 13, and perhaps that has a lot to do with his hands and quickness off the ball.
According to his high school coach there is something else that makes him a special player. "He has an on-the-field savvy and presence that permeates the entire defense," said Coach Domsitz. "This was evident to all our opponents as Hank was named the GCL North Player of the Year; not all that common for a defensive lineman," Domsitz concluded.
There is no doubt that Hank Keighley has a lot of the attributes the Rockets need on defense. The ability to pass rush, stuff the run, a very sound GPA, and an on-the-field savvy and presence that permeates to the entire defense. That last trait is not coachable, and is what makes players into leaders. Just what the Rockets need on defense.