Schools Test Kessman's Commitment

San Jacinto High School's star receiver has already been to BYU and is fully committed to Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall, but that has not stopped college coaches from testing his resolve. Should Cougar fans be concerned about losing one of California's finest receivers?

Ryan Kessman is a 6-foot, 190-pound speedster who caught 43 passes and racked up 1,493 all-purpose yards with a 46-yard punt return average. Even though he insists he is human, Kessman runs like a fine tuned machine with a built in gyroscope to keep him on his feet.

The San Jacinto, California product projects to be one of the top wide receivers in the state this year, but he is not content with being tops in Cali. His goal is to establish himself among the elite high school receivers in the nation before coming to BYU.

"For my senior year I want to have unbelievable stats," Kessman said. "My goal is to at least get into the top ten [nationally] in receptions by the end of the year. My record for touchdowns in a season was 19, and this year I'm shooting for mid 30s to high 30s."

Kessman works out at home and runs laps around his neighborhood almost everyday. He is also polishing up his technique and fine-tuning his route running with a former San Jacinto quarterback.

"I'll either just workout by myself or with my quarterback from two years ago," said Kessman. "We'll just polish up on the button hook and those things."

This week marks the beginning of spring camp for high schools in some California areas. San Jacinto is poised to have another great year, and Kessman figures to be a major part of their success.

"I'm getting ready for spring ball this week," Kessman said. "I've just been working out about every day and trying to get bigger, stronger and faster. I've been working on my quickness and things like planting and turning back towards the ball then turning around and getting up field quickly."

Kessman has high expectations for his team heading into his senior season. With some realignment in San Jacinto's division, Kessman is confident that a championship is within reach.

"I think we'll go all the way though," he said. "I'm pretty positive about that because the only teams that were holding us back were Oaks Christian [High School]. I don't know if you've ever heard of them but they have Jimmy Clausen who is number one for the 2007 recruits. They're a private school, and they were recruiting and stuff, but they're out of our league now.

"We still play Compton High School, who we beat in the second round of the CIF, but really the only challenge for us was Oaks Christian and they're out of the way now. I think we should go all the way. It will be interesting to see how things work out next year."

Whatever happens to San Jacinto in the fall, it will not be Kessman's final experience with organized football. He accepted a scholarship offer from the university where the west coast offense was born. Kessman will be a key player in BYU's return to its winning ways under Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall and Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae.

"I can't wait," said an excited Kessman. "I want it to be here already."

Even though Kessman committed to BYU and took an unofficial trip to the Provo, Utah campus in April, other colleges are still trying to lure him away. The inquiries about Kessman's services are so frequent that his high school coach put up a sign in his office declaring, "Ryan Kessman has committed to BYU."

"I have people calling me and talking to me, but I just tell them that I've committed," said Kessman. "I've told Coach Higgins, ‘You know people are going to come here and talk to me and I'm just going to tell them the truth that I've already committed.' So that's pretty much how that is."

The list of schools that are trying to break Kessman's resolve are quite impressive. They represent the Pac-10, SEC and Big Ten.

"I've had, oh lets see, Arkansas, Indiana, Oregon, Washington, Washington State and, of course, Utah, which is probably no news to BYU, right?" chuckled Kessman. "There are a couple of other colleges that are trying too."

Somehow, the University of Utah found out that Kessman was coming up to BYU for Junior Day. The Ute coaching staff did their best to convince the Kessmans to come up north, but their attempts stopped after Ryan's father Steve affirmed his son's commitment to the Cougars.

"They haven't offered me, but my dad told them that I'm committed to BYU and I love the campus," Kessman said. "I don't know how they found out about me. Maybe it was from"

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