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      The Self-Made Leatherneck


      WIU has certainly built a viable talent pipeline to Quincy Notre Dame High School over the last half decade....

      But unlike many of his former Raider Teammates, Quenton Keating arrived on campus in Macomb with little fanfare and very long odds of ever seeing the field.

      What a pleasant surprise this truly Self Made Leatherneck is turning out to be for the folks in Purple and Gold....

      Quenton Keating: "Really just hard work. Taking notes from the older guys. Trying to get experience here on the field. We had a lot of good coaches on the old coaching staff. There's a lot of good coaches on this coaching staff. Really just been dedicated. That's been the key to success"

      As it is for most unheralded walk-ons, Quenton Keating's Leatherneck existence has been a constant, uphill fight....

      Quenton Keating: "Always a large amount of competition. Always new guys coming in. No spot is given. I'm going to have to earn my spot this year on team just as well as everyone else on the team."

      What makes the now Junior Wide Receiver's story unique, however, is the sustained progress he has made carving out a niche for himself. And it started with a physical makeover...

      Quenton Keating: "I've put on about 25 pounds since high school with Coach Kramer and the Training Staff. Put a lot of work in in the weightroom. Put a lot of work on the field. Footwork. And like I said, just learned from guys like Terrion Crump, Justin Morgan, Charles Chestnut from past teams...it's really helped me be successful."

      His career arc should serve as the blueprint for College Football underdogs everywhere. The remaking of his body earned Quenton an initial window of playing opportunity on Special Teams. He capitalized there, earning the trust of his coaches and a rise up the receiving depth chart. If fact, Keating made his first career start as a Sophomore last fall against Missouri State. At each turn; with each passing day, Quenton Keating just keeps making himself more and more invaluable to the team.

      Quenton Keating: "It takes a lot of self motivation, you know coming in as a "low name" into the program, working my way up slowly. Being patient has been a key."

      Bob Nielson: "Quenton is a guy who has some size, a physical Wide Receiver. We've got some other guys that maybe are a little bit faster faster, do some other things that are different than him. Be he can certainly be a guy that helps us this year."

      Quenton Keating: "I approach this season as an opportunity. Good coaching staff here. We are running the spread. We get a lot of good looks. They've got me running the slot, outside. It's just really an opportunity for me to make a name her at WIU, have a good season and bring home a ring."