USC Offer Shakes Things Up for Kessler

Bakersfield (Calif.) Centennial quarterback Cody Kessler was getting ready to narrow down his list of college choices, and focus on a handful of schools, before a phone call from USC assistant coach Clay Helton on Friday morning really shook things up. Look inside for more.

Bakersfield (Calif.) Centennial quarterback Cody Kessler was getting ready to narrow down his list of college choices, and focus on a handful of schools, before a phone call from USC assistant coach Clay Helton on Friday morning really shook things up.

"USC offered this morning," Kessler said. "It was very exciting, especially because it's in the Pac-10 and close to home.

"It kind of puts a twist on everything because this morning I was with a few other guys that play, my dad and Coach Nixon, and we were all talking about recruiting, trying to narrow it down to a few schools and that is when I called Coach Helton. Now we have to start all over and think about this again."

Kessler has emerged as one of the most sought after quarterbacks in California and has been a target of Lane Kiffin's staff since they arrived at USC. He attended USC's Junior Day back in February and has been in constant contact with Clay Helton since that time.


Kessler plans to attend the Rising Stars Camp. (Mario Gomez Photo)
"I am really close with Helton. I talked to him once a week and he will email me all the time. He's a great dude," Kessler said. "I like him a lot and my parents are sold on him too. I love talking to him. We talk about football and about other stuff, like how life is going and we are really close. I like him a lot."

Of course, the Trojans already have a commitment from Mater Dei quarterback, Max Wittek, who is also regarded as one of the top signal callers in the state. But according to Kessler, he wouldn't shy away from the competition if he feels that USC is the best place for him.

"I'm one of the biggest competitors so it doesn't bug me at all. Helton asked me, ‘Hey does it bug you that we are taking two?' I told him that they could take ten for all I care," Kessler said. "I just love to compete so it doesn't bug me at all."

The 6-2, 225-pound standout from Bakersfield said he plans to enroll early and get a jump on the competition at whichever school he ends up choosing.

A decision could come soon with USC, Washington, Pitt, Alabama, Oregon State and Boise State, the schools that are still in the mix.

"I was getting really close but now with this offer I have to think things over again now," he said. "I am hoping that in the next couple of weeks that I will know for sure."

While the coaching staff, early playing time and a school with a strong tradition will certainly play a role in his decision, Kessler says he is looking for a place where he will feel comfortable spending the next four years of his life.

"The main thing for me at the end of the day, if you take away football and all the other stuff, is I am happy living there and a place that I can see myself living at for the next four years," he said.

Stay tuned to SCPlaybook.com for regular updates on Cody Kessler throughout the recruiting process.


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