Kessler Raves About Rising Stars

Bakersfield (CA) Centennial standout Cody Kessler arrived at the Rising Stars Camp last year as an under the radar quarterback just hoping to catch the eye of the coaching staff. But Wednesday, he was at ease on the practice field, having already committed to the Trojans just weeks ago.

Bakersfield (CA) Centennial standout Cody Kessler arrived at the Rising Stars Camp last year as an under the radar quarterback just hoping to catch the eye of the coaching staff. But Wednesday, he was at ease on the practice field, having already committed to the Trojans just weeks ago.

"It was a lot more relaxed, but I also got to learn stuff, too," he said. "I learned how Coach Helton wants me to do this and do that, so it was a lot of fun.

"Last year, I came in with all of this pressure on myself and thought that I had to be perfect. And this year I came out real relaxed because this is home for me."

From all accounts, Kessler was quite comfortable and quickly showed why he is such a highly sought after passer.


Cody Kessler teamed up with Victor Blackwell at the Rising Stars Camp.
The four-star quarterback's impressive performance included a long drive in which he teamed up with fellow USC commit, Victor Blackwell.

"The highlight was probably when we went 11-on-11 at the very end. I got to do a whole drive, and Victor Blackwell was my receiver," Kessler said. "I went to him three or four times, and we just went off.

"It was actually our first time meeting each other and we had good timing and everything."

The camp was also the first time that Kessler and Max Wittek, USC's two quarterback commits, were able to meet and spend time together.

"I had never talked to him, never seen him, never anything really besides doing a few camps," Kessler explained. "Today, right when we got there, Coach Helton came up and put his arm around both of us and said, ‘Cody Kessler meet Max Wittek. Max Wittek meet Cody Kessler.' We kind of just got along really well from there.

"People think it was going to be awkward or be weird, but it wasn't like that at all. We exchanged numbers and I texted him after he left. It was awesome. We talked the whole time and hung out."

And what about the competition on the field?

"We actually played off each other the whole day. He would make a good throw and then I would make a good throw," Kessler said. "We would just go back and forth so it was really cool.

"We both definitely stepped our game up because we were playing against each other, and both wanted to do good, but it wasn't like we were trying to make the other guy look bad."

The enthusiasm in Kessler's voice was still evident when we spoke with him at the end of the two-day camp. The 6-2, 225-pound signal caller raved about his time with quarterback coach Clay Helton.

"It was really cool getting to work with Coach Helton and all the coaches for the first time on the field, and being around all the recruits," Kessler said. "It was just a great camp all the way around.

"I have seen him coaching Barkley at the spring practices and have talked to Barkley a lot about how he likes him. It was awesome to get to work with him. We fit each other perfect. The way he coaches and the way I play they just fit perfect.

"He loves everything that I do. And I love the way that he coaches and the way he tells me to read stuff and look at stuff."

Surrounded by some of the top players in the 2011 class, Kessler also made sure to do some recruiting of his own.

"Just getting to hang out with some of the commits and all the recruits was awesome," he said. "Greg Townsend was up there and George Farmer came up there today. He didn't do anything but he came up to hangout. I hope we can get him to commit.

"The guys that I think we are getting really close to getting, I mean I am hoping, are Greg Townsend and George Farmer.

"I am really excited about our class, too. It will be awesome."


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