Defensive tackle prospect Joe Keels changed his collegiate course Tuesday afternoon, altering the recruiting landscape for a pair of Big Ten Conference rivals. The junior college standout confirmed on Twitter that he has switched his commitment from Wisconsin to Nebraska.
Keels, a 6'4", 275-pound product of Highland (Kan.) Community College, ended a verbal pact with the Badgers that dated back to early October. Wisconsin is now left with 24 commits in its 2014 recruiting class.
Keels' initial decision to continue his football career in Madison made sense.
He played high school football in Kenosha, Wis. during his senior season and has family ties within the Wisconsin program. All-Big Ten second-team running back Melvin Gordon is his cousin and former high school teammate.
Instead of reuniting with Gordon, the 4-star recruit will head to Lincoln. Keels has two years of collegiate eligibility remaining after a pair of strong seasons at the prep level.
He is ranked the nation's No. 5 junior college defensive tackle and No. 16 overall JUCO prospect by 247Sports. Keels' skills have attracted attention from programs across the country.
His offer list includes Alabama, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and USC. The commitment gives Nebraska another top-tier recruit along the defensive front.
Keels spent an official visit in Lincoln last month.
The Cornhuskers already hold commitments from No. 1 JUCO defensive tackle Terrell Clinkscales and 4-star Kansas product Peyton Newell. Nebraska's 2014 class includes 18 players and is rated 37th nationally by 247Sports.
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