Honors & Awards
- Nebraska Season Completion Percentage Record (63.07%, 2007)
- Nebraska Record for Single-Game Completions (36 vs. USC, 2007)
- Nebraska Offensive Scout Team MVP (2006)
- Sun Bowl Most Valuable Player (Arizona State, 2004)
Quarterback Sam Keller made the most of his brief stint at Nebraska, earning the starting nod for the 2007 Huskers. Keller, a transfer from Arizona State, started the first nine games of the 2007 campaign before suffering a season-ending injury at Texas. Before the injury, the 6-4, 230-pound Keller played a leading role in Nebraska’s record-setting passing season.
Keller earned the starting job during spring practice and fall camp and proceeded to post impressive passing numbers. Keller finished the season by completing a Nebraska single-season record 63.1 percent of his passes (205-of-325) for 2,422 yards and 14 touchdowns. Keller’s 2,422 yards ranked third on the Nebraska single-season chart and his 269.1 passing yards per game were a Husker single-season best.
Keller threw for better than 200 yards in seven of his nine starts, including a then-school-record 438 passing yards in a 41-40 victory over Ball State. In that contest, Keller completed 29-of-37 passes and had a season-high three touchdown passes. His 389 passing yards against USC also rank on the NU single-game top 10 list, while his 298 yards at Texas were just outside of the top 10. In addition to his three-touchdown effort against Ball State, Keller threw for two touchdowns in four other games.
Keller’s assault on the Nebraska passing record book ended prematurely when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury late in Nebraska’s loss at Texas. The play of Keller helped Nebraska finish seventh nationally in passing offense and No. 9 in the country in total offense, as the Huskers had their best total offense average in 10 seasons.
Keller began fall practice at Arizona State in 2006, but made the decision to transfer to Nebraska in late August. He sat out the season under NCAA transfer rules, but played a key role during Nebraska’s game preparations. Keller unselfishly guided the Husker scout team and was NU’s offensive scout team player of the year.
Keller threw for more than 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in 19 games in a Sun Devil uniform between 2003 and 2005. He was at his best in 2005, throwing for more than 2,100 yards before a season-ending injury. He owns ASU’s second-best career completion percentage (58.2 percent), as well as the lowest career interception percentage (.0291). As a starter, he averaged 316.9 yards passing per game. Keller was a backup for ASU in his first two seasons in the program.
A native of Danville, Calif., Keller played his high school football at San Ramon Valley High. Keller was one of 20 Husker seniors to graduate in December of 2007.
Keller began fall practice at Arizona State, but made the decision to transfer to Nebraska in late August. He sat out the 2006 season under NCAA transfer rules, but played a key role during Nebraska’s game preparations. Keller unselfishly guided the Husker scout team and was NU’s offensive scout team player of the year.
Before Nebraska (San Ramon Valley HS/Arizona St.)
Keller was on his way to a record-breaking 2005 campaign at Arizona State before suffering a season-ending hand injury midway through the year. Keller threw for 2,165 yards and 20 touchdowns despite starting only the season’s first seven games.
Keller threw for four touchdowns in each of the first four games of the season, totaling 16 scores and just two interceptions. He posted back-to-back 400-yard outings against LSU (461 yards) and Northwestern (409 yards) in the second and third games of the season, and came back with 300-plus yard efforts against Oregon State and top-ranked USC. In that four-game stretch, Keller totaled 1,582 yards passing. Keller finished his junior season with a 145.78 quarterback efficiency rating.
As a sophomore in 2004, Keller served as the backup to senior starter Andrew Walter, now a quarterback with the Oakland Raiders. Keller appeared in six games and threw for 606 yards and five touchdowns with just one interception. Keller earned his first career start in the Sun Bowl against Purdue and made the most of his opportunity. He completed 25-of-45 passes for 370 yards and three touchdowns, directing the Sun Devils’ fourth-quarter comeback. For his efforts, Keller was named the Most Valuable Player in the contest.
Keller played in six games as a freshman in 2003 and threw for 247 yards and a touchdown. He saw his most extensive action against UCLA and threw for 79 yards.
At San Ramon Valley High in Danville, Calif., Keller won first-team all-league honors in both 2001 and 2002 and concluded his high school career with a 23-10-2 record in three years as a starter. His statistics for his senior campaign included a 10-3 record after completing 210-of-333 attempts for 3,282 yards and 38 touchdowns with only five interceptions. Keller’s best game during his 35-consecutive game reign as the Wolves’ starter was a 444-yard, five touchdown effort against rival Monte Vista High School. He was rated as the ninth-best quarterback prospect in the nation for 2003 by Rivals.com. Also a four-year starter for San Ramon Valley in basketball, Keller was coached by Dave Kravitz in football.
Sam was born on Sept. 28, 1984. His mother and stepdad are Melissa and Bob Coveney, and his father and stepmother are Mike and Kimberly Keller. Sam’s younger sister, Gabrielle Parisella, is a soccer student-athlete at Loyola Marymount University. Mike was an All-American defensive end for Michigan, lettering from 1969 to 1971, and was a third-round NFL draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys. Sam’s uncle, Tom Keller, also played for Michigan. Sam majored in political science and earned his degree in December of 2007. He was a part of Nebraska’s spring visit to the Omaha Children’s Hospital.
Keller’s Career Statistics
Arizona State (2003-05)
Eff.R.2003 6/0-ASU 43 23 1 .535 247 5.7 41.2 26 1 104.762004 6/1-ASU 71 42 1 .592 606 8.5 101.0 68 5 151.272005 7/7-ASU 264 155 9 .587 2,165 8.2 309.3 65 20 145.782006 Redshirt 2007 9/9-NU 325 205 10 .631 2,422 7.5 269.1 73 14 133.74
Pass Attempts?56 vs. Oregon, 2005
Pass Completions?36 vs. USC, 2007
Passing Yards?461 vs. LSU, 2005
Passing Touchdowns?4, four times, all in 2005