TCPalm Super 11: Vero Beach defensive end Keanu Koht is ready to show his full game

Jon Santucci
Treasure Coast Newspapers

TCPalm is announcing its annual Super 11, the list of the top recruited senior football players on the Treasure Coast. TCPalm began counting down from No. 11 to No. 1 on June 23, with two players announced per week. Today is No. 1. 

VERO BEACH — Keanu Koht the recruit is all set.

Vero Beach’s four-star defensive end, the No. 1 player on the TCPalm Super 11, committed to LSU on July 4 and is set to enroll at the school in January.

Koht is ranked the No. 18 weakside defensive end in the nation and the No. 34 overall recruit in the state by

Keanu Koht the football player constantly is improving and eager to show the world what he can do.

“Colleges know I’m a pass rusher, but not too many people know who I really am,” Koht said. “They don’t know what I can do. They don’t know that I’m versatile. You can throw me anywhere on defense and I can play it – except D-tackle. I can play pretty much anything and I’m hoping to show that this year.”

More:Vero Beach DE Keanu Koht to play in 2021 All-American Bowl

In 2019, his first full varsity season, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Koht had 42 tackles, eight sacks and earned honorable mention on the All-Area team.

Koht has his sights set on a monster 2020 season, and his list of goals include 20 sacks and at least doubling his 14.5 tackles for loss total from last fall. 

“Last year, I didn’t get too many opportunities to get sacks because we run a three-man (front), and with three-man if I get a good rush, most quarterbacks we play will just run out of there," Koht said. "This year, with our skill set, I think I’ll have a lot of opportunities with Travonte (O’Neal) on the other side.

“We’re the true definition of a weakside and strongside end. Every quarterback is going to feel us.”

Despite his lofty status as a national recruit and playing a key role on the Fighting Indians defense, which led the Treasure Coast in scoring defense in 2019, Vero Beach coach Lenny Jankowski believes Koht has barely shown what he can do.

“He has an unbelievable skill set,” Jankowski said. “He’s long, he’s athletic, he’s physical, he has position versatility. He can do a lot of things. He becomes what you’re seeing in recruiting. All those things add up to a guy who’s going to be a national recruit.

“What’s exciting to me as his high school coach is he’s an extremely hard worker and we just saw a smidge of what he’s capable of doing last year. You combine that ‘P’ word, that potential, with some of that production we’re now expecting, it’s very exciting to talk about. He’s the type of player who should dominate that side of the ball and play with a dominant mindset. The impact plays he’ll be responsible for should be a bunch.”

More Super 11

No. 2: Jensen Beach ATH Da'Quan Gonzales

No. 3:Centennial LB Deshauwn Alleyne

No. 4:Vero Beach DE Travonte O'Neal

No. 5:Vero Beach LB Davon Hicks

Koht missed almost all of his sophomore year because of an injury, but that didn’t prevent colleges from noticing the obvious. Koht is long and athletic. As his recruiting picked up at the end of the spring and during the offseason before the 2019 season, Jankowski said Koht was “too pretty” for colleges not to offer him.

Name a major Power 5 program, and there’s a good chance it offered Koht. Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas were on the list, but ultimately it came down to LSU and Florida.

“I was going to commit to LSU a while back, maybe two months ago,” Koht said. “I knew I wanted to go to LSU. Florida was in the state and my family could come to the games, but I just felt like LSU was it.

“The 4-3 scheme with (defensive coordinator Bo) Pelini. It’s attack, it’s aggressive. It will give me more freedom because it’s not as much responsibility. In a 3-4, I’ve got to hold up blocks for the linebackers to come though. In a 4-3, I just attack. I feel like it gives me an opportunity to really show what I can do.”

Keanu Koht, Vero Beach High School

Keanu Koht

Vero Beach DE

TCPalm Super 11 rank: 1

Height, weight: 6-foot-4, 220 pounds

2019 stats/honors: 42 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, TCPalm All-Area honorable mention

Verbal commitment: LSU

The rest of the Super 11

No. 6:Treasure Coast TE/FB Keegan Davis

No. 7:John Carroll Catholic QB Jay Allen

No. 8:Treasure Coast OL Marquez Bargman

No. 9:Fort Pierce Westwood DE/OLB James Gardner Jr.

No. 10:Centennial CB Henry Pickens

No. 11:Treasure Coast QB/ATH Turk Watkins