National Champs Offer Central Cali QB

Bakersfield (Calif.) Centennial quarterback Cody Kessler just finished a six-hour tour of the reigning national champions earlier today. At the conclusion of his tour, he sat down with Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who offered him…

Cody Kessler (6-2, 220) picked up an offer from Arizona State on Wednesday while heading to the airport on his way to Tuscaloosa.

His expectations weren't high that the Rose Bowl champion Alabama Crimson Tide would offer him a scholarship during his unofficial visit. But that all changed in a blink of an eye.

"Out of nowhere, [Coach Nick Saban] says ‘we're going to offer you a scholarship,'" said Kessler. "I was sitting in his office, he was talking and everything went so fast, I had to ask him again."

Kessler took a six-hour tour of Alabama with his grandmother, who lives just over an hour away from the Tuscaloosa campus, and his father on Thursday. "The school was freaking awesome," added Kessler. "Everything was amazing."

"All the coaches were awesome. Their academic program is amazing. They say you have to try hard to fail at Alabama."

According to Saban, Kessler says he is one of four quarterbacks with an offer. But he says they are not going to take any commits. "I'm not ready to commit anyway," Kessler told Saban. "Saban said, ‘we are going to wait until we all see you throw again in the spring or come to our summer camp," said Kessler.

While the Crimson Tide impressed him, he is not quite ready to name them his overall favorite. "I can't really say yet," said Kessler. "They are up there with Boise State, Pitt and Fresno State."

All have offered him save Boise State. "They say I'm their No. 1 guy," Kessler said of the Broncos. "They want to make sure I want to go there as much as they want me. So I'm going to visit in Boise later this spring. [Head] Coach [Chris] Petersen says ‘we just don't throw out offers, if we're going to be turned down.' I can understand that."

Kessler is planning to make his decision during the summer. He is content with his offer list at the moment; he still would like to hear from a few more Pac-10 programs, namely UCLA, USC and Washington. He plans to camp at the USC Rising Stars Camp again this year after performing well last year.

He also plans to return to Tuscaloosa to camp in the summer. Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain plans to visit him in the coming months during the spring evaluation period.

Meanwhile, Kessler is on his way to Pittsburgh for his second unofficial visit in as many days.

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