Kessman Is Loving BYU

BYU could not have picked a better game to host recruits than Saturday's match up with UNLV. Everything came together perfectly with the homecoming festivities, the beautiful fall weather, the more than 63,000 fans in LaVell Edwards Stadium, and the Cougars' 52-7 drubbing of the Rebels. For BYU receiver commit Ryan Kessman, the weekend whetted his appetite for a more permanent stay in Provo.

"I rate the trip 11 out of 10," said Ryan Kessman. "It was so awesome."

As most readers know, Kessman has been riding high on BYU for years, despite being a highly recruited non-LDS athlete.

"As a father, there is no place that I would trust my son more than BYU," said Ryan's father Steve Kessman. "That honor code is what sets this place apart from anywhere else. I just love BYU and Bronco Mendenhall. I feel safe with him there."

With his plan to enroll at BYU in January, Ryan will already be in Provo in January when many of the other Cougar Commits will make their official visit. Not wanting to miss out of the official visit experience, Ryan decided to take his official visit this weekend with defensive back recruit and fellow Californian G Pittman.

"My visit to Provo reaffirmed why BYU was the place for me and why I've turned down so many offers from places like USC and UCLA," said Ryan.

The outstanding wide receiver ran down the reasons why he loved his trip to BYU and why BYU has been his number one choice.

1. Clean fans.

"Pittman and I were so surprised, during the whole game we didn't hear one swear word or smell one drop of alcohol," said Ryan. "The fans were there to watch a football game. To me, that's what it's all about. It's all about football in Provo."

The Kessmans made an unpleasant trip to Tucson, Arizona earlier this season to watch BYU take on the Wildcats. The family was happy that to find that BYU had a more uplifting atmosphere.

"As we were waiting in line with our BYU shirts on, all of these UA students were yelling profanities at us and trying to pick a fight with us and taunting us with alcohol," said Steve. "I was so glad that my son would be attending a place where their students would treat visiting teams with respect, it made proud to be a cougar fan after that game."

2. College Atmosphere

"It's so beautiful!" Ryan exclaimed. "This was my third BYU game that I've been to, and I still believe that that scenery and atmosphere cannot be beat anywhere in college football.

"The community and all the people are all about BYU, even the little kids."

3. Honor Code

"I made the decision when I was eight years old that I was going to go to a school where drinking and partying wouldn't be an influence. It was good to be with the fans where I knew that they were living the honor code and I could just feel that they were all good kids."

4. Bronco Mendenhall

"He's always been straight forward with me and just tells me like it is, however he's so friendly and nice at the same time," Ryan observed. "I always got the feeling that he was never going to promise me something just to get me to commit. He's so full of wisdom too. You should hear his pre-game speeches. I would go to BYU just to hear him speak. He speaks with power."

Ryan also was able to get to know his host, Mike Hague and talk to him about a few concerns that he has had.

"I'm not LDS and I always wondered how things would be if I went to an LDS school, like if everybody would be pushing me to be LDS," said Kessman. "He told me how everybody is really relaxed about that stuff here and how everybody respects how you have your own beliefs. It really helped out a lot. He's a cool guy.

"After the game we went and ate at Boondocks and then went and hung out at [BYU football player] Jordan Stephan's place with some of the guys on the team. It was fun, but we made sure that we were home by curfew."

Pittman and Kessman flew to Provo and back to California together, and Pittman shared his insight with Ryan about his recruitment to BYU.

"He really liked the game," said Kessman. "We talked to each other a lot. We stayed in the same hotel room and got to know each other really well. He said that he's definitely going to take all his visits before he commits and that he will definitely not make a commitment anytime soon."

The trip only increased Kessman's excitement about becoming a part of the team.

"After this visit, I want to get out there as soon as I can," he said. "January can't come faster enough."


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