The flip is half complete.
Defensive end Keon Keeley, Notre Dame’s highest-ranked recruit in the 2023 class, decommitted on Wednesday.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank the University of Notre Dame and their tremendous staff for spending the time to recruit me to Notre Dame,” Keeley said in a statement he tweeted Wednesday night. “I’m truly grateful for the opportunity. Making a decision that will ultimately affect my life’s path has been quite challenging and cannot be understated.
“With that said, I will be decommitting from the University of Notre Dame. I hope everyone understands my need to ensure I find the right path. Thank you so much.”
Keeley is the No. 1 edge defender overall in the class of 2023, according to the 247Sports Composite.
It appears that Richard Young – a 5-star running back committed to Alabama’s 2023 class – knew something was about to happen and practically called the news earlier Wednesday.
It was just 16 days ago Young vowed to flip Keeley.
“Mark my words, I am gonna flip Keon Keeley from Notre Dame,” he tweeted on August 1.
He wasn’t the only one recruiting Keeley to Tuscaloosa.
Meanwhile, Tide tight end commit Ty Lockwood tweeted out his vote for Keeley’s future late Wednesday.
Keeley has visited Florida and Alabama twice, and also saw Ohio State. He most recently visited Tuscaloosa on August 1.
“It was a great day and a half at the University of Alabama,” Janicke Keeley, Keeley’s mom, told On3 about the visit to Alabama. “Great BBQ food, stadium visit, campus tour, and position meeting. We had a fantastic time. We had seen most before on our first visit. He likes everything about Alabama.
“It went extremely well. Great time with (Caleb Downs, Justice Haynes, and Miles McVay). Only player he spent time with who sat with us and ate was Keanu Koht. He’s a great EDGE and a great guy. He took time to spend time with Keon and talk to him.”
Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.