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August 23, 2006

Next step: QB Keller accepted by Nebraska



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Sam Keller is on the verge of finalizing a move from Arizona State to Nebraska.

"It's not official yet, but I'm willing to do anything possible to make it official," the senior quarterback told HuskersIllustrated.com, a member of the Rivals.com network, on Wednesday.

Keller applied to the University of Nebraska and has been accepted - though he hasn't yet enrolled at the school - according to an employee at the school's registrar's office. Keller is expected to sign his scholarship papers when he arrives on campus, which should happen within the next 24 hours.

HuskersIllustrated.com had reported Monday that Keller and his family had contacted Cornhuskers coach Bill Callahan about a possible transfer.

After practice on Tuesday, Callahan confirmed Keller's interest in Nebraska.

"I'd like to talk to you further about it, but the NCAA has really restricted my ability to speak about it because he is a recruited prospect," Callahan said. "All I can tell you is he has been granted permission and has been given a release by Arizona State to Nebraska. That's about all I can say at this point.

"As soon as I get more information, I'll be more than happy to release it to the public and the media."

Keller was more forthcoming about his plans Wednesday.

"This is exciting, and it feels really good right now," Keller said. "This is a really big deal for me. Nebraska is one of the best programs in college football history."

A move to Nebraska would represent the latest in a bizarre turn of events for Keller.

Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter announced Friday that Keller would open the season as the Sun Devils' starting quarterback. Two days later, Koetter changed his mind and gave the starting job to sophomore Rudy Carpenter.

Keller started the first seven games for Arizona State last year before suffering a season-ending hand injury. He completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,165 yards and 20 touchdowns with nine interceptions.

Carpenter took over after Keller's injury and led the nation in passing efficiency. Carpenter completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,273 yards with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Because he's transferring to another Division I-A school, Keller must sit out the 2006 season. He has one year of eligibility remaining and would be the front-runner to open the 2007 season as the Cornhuskers' starting quarterback.

Nebraska currently has senior Zac Taylor as its No. 1 quarterback. Keller would compete next year with sophomores Joe Ganz and Beau Davis, who have combined to throw eight passes in their collegiate careers. Four-star quarterback prospect Harrison Beck left the Nebraska program earlier this month and transferred to North Carolina State.

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