Another Early Addition for BYU

Wide receiver McKay Jacobson finished his senior season of high school early so that he could join his future Cougar teammates for spring camp. The extra practice time gave Jacobson a head start on learning the playbook and earning playing time. One member of the recruiting class of 2007 recently informed BYU coaches that he would follow Jacobson's lead.

BYU fans were excited to hear that 2005 Texas 5A Wide Receiver of the Year McKay Jacobson intended to graduate high school a semester early and enroll at BYU for winter semester. The decision allowed Jacobson to participate in spring practices and get used to his new quarterback, his new offense, and the speed of the college game.

The time Jacobson spent in spring camp was so valuable to the young receiver that Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall stated that he did not consider Jacobson to be a freshman.

In a move that is sure to thrill BYU faithful once more, California wide receiver Ryan Kessman, who already committed to play for BYU in 2007, recently decided to follow in Jacobson's footsteps and graduate early.

"I talked to my counselor, and I'm good to go," said Kessman. "I'll be graduating early in December so I can join my new Cougar teammates in spring."

Kessman, a 6-foor, 200-pound speedster, racked up 43 catches for 848 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He also averaged 38 yards on punt returns and 46 yards on kickoff returns, scoring three times on returns.

"I'm just so excited," Kessman said. "I can't wait. I want to get down there early and catch some ball with Max Hall and get used to one another early. I want to get used to his throwing style and so he can also get used to how I play, so we can be more effective on the field come next season and just tear it up. I can't wait to down there to get going."

For a quarterback, getting used to the speed and routes of his receivers is vital for offensive chemistry. Likewise, a receiver has to become familiar with the style of play of his quarterback. Kessman wants to get that process out of the way before he has to compete for a starting spot in camp.

"I just want to be able to come in and learn the offense and get used to Max Hall," said Kessman. "That way when fall practice comes around I'm not worried about learning the offense but can just go out there and play as best I can already knowing what to do."

The news of Kessman's early graduation apparently caught the BYU coaching staff off guard. When Kessman made BYU coaches aware of his intention to play for them, he left the impression that her would show up in August with the rest of the recruiting class of 2007.

"Coach Higgins was really excited," Kessman said. "We told him I was going to graduate early in December, and that I wanted to come down to BYU early so I can practice with the team in the spring. He was really excited and told my dad how excited he was to have come down early."

With BYU holding scholarships for returning missionaries, Cougar coaches told Kessman that they would not have enough scholarships available for him when he comes to BYU this winter.

"They said they didn't have a scholarship available for me because of the missionaries that will be coming home," said Kessman. "The coaches told me that I would have pay my own way over the spring but that they would have a scholarship for me over the summer."

The Kessman family fully understands and respects the decisions of BYU coaches honoring their previous held scholarships to those returning from serving full time missions. The family is happy to provide for their son over spring as he prepares for the upcoming season until a scholarship becomes available for him over the summer.

"I'm perfectly fine with that," said Kessman. "There's no problem with this at all and I understand that the coaches have to honor their word with the incoming missionaries. My family will pay my way over the spring until I get my scholarship over the summer. I'm perfectly fine with this and I'm just excited to get down there. I can't wait."


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