April 26, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton draws interest from Jets, Texans, Vikings and Cardinals
Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton is drawing interest from the New York Jets.
Once mentioned as a dark-horse Heisman Trophy candidate as one of the most prolific passers in the nation, Keeton tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee against BYU six games into his junior season three years ago.
Healthy again and training in Houston IX Innovations with Abdul Foster, the older brother of former Houston Texans star running back Arian Foster, Keeton ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds at his Pro Day workout.
At the time of his injury, Keeton had passed for 18 touchdowns and two interceptions and rushed for 241 yards and two touchdowns. One year later, Keeton tore ligaments in the same knee against Wake Forest three games into the season.
Keeton (6-1, 208) auditioned for the Texans at their local prospect workout. He's also drawn interest from the Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders.
Despite being limited to 15 games over the past three seasons, Keeton ranks first in school history with 61 touchdown passes, first among quarterbacks with 1,416 rushing yards, second with 7,279 passing yards and second with a 65.8 completion percentage.
"Chuckie is a phenomenal young man who has the character, drive and energy to be successful at anything he sets his mind to," Utah State coach Matt Wells said. "One of Chuckie's many ideal traits is his ability to overcome adversity. He had some setbacks with knee injuries. Despite his overwhelming odds, he rose to the challenge. He continued to work hard to regain his strength and stamina and stay active with the team in a leadership role.
"Chuckie is extremely responsible and dependable. I feel extremely fortunate to be associated with such a fine young man. He's a good player, a good student, a good leader and a good friend."
Granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA, Keeton returned last season for a fifth year of eligibility. But he suffered a sprained right knee and missed several games before returning to start in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He started a handful of games, passing for 1,006 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions and rushing for 181 yards and a score.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for the Houston Chronicle.