Gilman defensive end Melvin Keihn started his Christmas celebration early Tuesday by committing to play football at Virginia Tech.

A two-time All-Metro and two-time Consensus All-State selection, Keihn is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com. Last Thursday, he whittled his list of top schools down to Virginia Tech, Maryland and Virginia. He had cut to a final five, including Penn State and Miami, from more than 50 offers.

The senior originally had planned to announce his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Jan. 2, but last week said with a laugh that he couldn't stand it any longer and he wanted to decide by Christmas.

Keihn, 6 feet 3, 225 pounds, likely will play outside linebacker for the Hokies. Although he played defensive end for Gilman, Keihn has the quickness and strength to play both positions.


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"What his future is, is he's going to be an incredible linebacker, because he can cover in space," Gilman coach Biff Poggi said about Keihn. "He's an outstanding blitzer, and he plays with relentless pursuit, so I really think he has a very good chance to be a dominant college player, and I would be surprised if he doesn't play on Sundays."

Keihn had 85 tackles, including 16 for a loss, nine sacks and two forced fumbles for the No. 2 Greyhounds this fall. In a season-opening win over Good Counsel, he had 15 tackles.

Despite Keihn's high school success, Poggi said he still believes the player has tremendous upside. Keihn has spent little time in the weight room because he's on the track team. He's primarily a hurdler for the Greyhounds.

To Poggi, nothing stood out more over the years than Keihn's work ethic.

"He outworked us. He wanted more. He absorbed it all. He practiced diligently. He was early, stayed late," Poggi said, "so what he's become is a very talented, disruptive player that you have to mark everywhere he is on the field."

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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