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Cody Kessler | Quarterback

Team: USC Trojans
Age / DOB:  (22) / 5/11/1993
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 215

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USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler said he returned to school to win the national title.
"I didn’t come back to win a Heisman or be an All-American, as nice as those honors are," Kessler said. "I came back because I’m tiring of losing four games a year. I came back because I wanted to win a Pac-12 title, a national title. I really think this could be that year. We could be the team to do that." Reminded that Matt Barkley said just about the same thing a few years back, Kessler stressed that the Trojans were realistic about the work it will take to achieve such a goal. "How could we be [overconfident]?" he said. "The last two years have been ... humbling." Kessler boasts a pristine career 59-12 TD/INT rate. "It’s to the point now where everyone feels like it’s done," Kessler said of the adversity that defined much of his first four seasons at USC. "It feels like we’re back." Jul 26 - 8:16 PM

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Per Sports on Earth's Matt Brown, USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler is "a smart, poised leader who distributes the ball accurately with impressive timing and rhythm."

"He's mechanically sound, and while he's not a runner, he has pocket mobility and keeps his eyes downfield in the face of pressure," Brown wrote. "At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Kessler won't wow anyone physically, but mentally he's ahead of anyone else in the country, and even if he doesn't have a huge arm, he's accurate anywhere on the field." The draft expert ranks Kessler as the No. 2 signal-caller in the land but noted an interesting stat. "In four games against ranked opponents, he averaged 6.6 yards per attempt with four touchdowns and three picks. In nine games against unranked opponents, he averaged 9.3 yards per attempt with 35 touchdowns and two picks," Brown wrote. " To compare, Marcus Mariota averaged 8.9 yards per attempt against seven ranked opponents last year." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler completed 69.7 percent of his attempts and threw for 3,826 yards (8.5 yards per attempt) with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year.
Jul 6 - 12:09 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "possesses average size, an adequate arm, and fair mobility once outside the pocket," according to NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

"However, his natural intelligence within the pocket and being coached up by Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian should count for something," he added. "Kessler hasn't turned the ball over much, looks off safeties to find the open man on the other side of the field, and moves within the pocket to buy time and find a secondary target. If he gets good marks as a leader from his coaches, NFL scouts will consider him a solid backup/spot starter option at the next level." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline recently reported that NFL scouts "are concerned with his Mark Sanchez like size."
Jun 28 - 2:30 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "lacks elite physical tools, but his anticipation and accuracy are ahead of the pack," writes ESPN's Mel Kiper.

"In 2014, he put together one of the most overlooked stellar seasons in recent memory," Kiper wrote. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year. "Perhaps most impressively, he completed a hair under 70 percent of his throws," Kiper wrote. "He has also shown he can succeed when taking snaps from under center, not just out of the shotgun."
Jun 23 - 9:31 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that NFL scouts "by a pretty big margin" rank USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler as the No. 1 senior QB prospect.

Kessler still has his detractors, of course. "Some are concerned with his Mark Sanchez like size," Pauline wrote. Despite his 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame and lack of a prototypical bazooka, Kessler is one of the nation's best deep passers, thanks to his accuracy and toughness (he'll scramble and reset his feet to unload without ever dropping his eyes from downfield targets). That latter trait isn't often discussed, but it portends to NFL success about as much as any other signal-calling skill.
Jun 23 - 7:36 PM

With regards to USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler, NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein passes along that NFL scouts are concerned about the "number of dink and dunk throws baked into the offense and they are looking for improved anticipatory throws."

Despite losing wide receiver Nelson Agholor and running back Javorius "Buck" Allen, the analyst doesn't think Kessler's production (3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio) will drop off any this fall. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler "displayed amazing deep-ball accuracy last season, completing 50.6 percent of throws of 16-plus yards and he is effective from shotgun or under center," wrote Zierlein.
Jun 22 - 11:39 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah praised USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler.

"USC QB Cody Kessler doesn't have ideal measurables but he has good instincts/awareness," Jeremiah tweeted along with a play which Kessler displayed a willingness to move off his spot while keeping his eyes downfield and locate a third option underneath. The throw was wobbly but it got the job done. We love Kessler's functional mobility and capability to succeed within the offense.
Jun 22 - 9:51 AM

USC "is one of the top teams in the country and 8.5 wins supplies us with a lot of value," writes ESPN correspondent Phil Steele.

In Las Vegas currently, the Trojans are minus-150 to win over 8.5 games. Steele loves the proposition. "With 8.5 wins for the total, USC can afford to lose three games and still go over the total," he wrote. "I expect double-digit wins from the Trojans. QB Cody Kessler has a great supporting cast, including a veteran, top-notch offensive line. They have the best depth they have had since the sanctions hit and that should mean less wilting in the fourth quarter, which cost them some wins last season." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year. He's surrounded by one of the nation's best supporting casts. We agree with Steele's assessment of USC.
Jun 9 - 9:07 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "doesn't have ideal height for an NFL quarterback (he's listed at 6-1), but will be prepared for the mechanics of running an NFL offense," observes ESPN's Kyle Bonagura.

"After a productive junior season, Kessler could have tried his luck with the NFL, but opted to return for a season in which there will be high expectations -- both for the team and Kessler individually," Bonagura wrote. The quarterback made a great decision in returning. While we like Kessler more than most, he would have been lucky to get popped on Day 2 had he entered the process early. If he can assuage concerns about his frame by showing Drew Brees-like tools in 2015, it wouldn't be out of the question for Kessler to hear his name called in Round 1. He doesn't have much room for error, however.
Jun 1 - 9:25 PM

USC redshirt senior Cody Kessler was named to the Phil Steele's preseason All-America first team.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler completed 315-of-452 passes for 3,826 yards with 39 TDs and only 5 interceptions, while adding 2 rushing TDs in 2014. The USC prospect was named to Steele's preseason All America third team, prior to the 2014 season.
Jun 1 - 3:08 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "still has a lot to prove before being considered a first-round pick," wrote ESPN's Greg Katz.

"There will be a lot on the line on so many levels this season for Kessler, who will try to prove that he is on or near the same level as this season’s top drafted quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota," Katz wrote. "That’s quite a level to aspire, but like we all know, the draft can be all about systems and needs." Had he declared for the 2015 NFL Draft, we would have ranked Kessler as the third quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year.
May 30 - 10:40 PM

Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl called attention to USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler's "excellent pocket presence."

Weidl first pointed out a few negatives, saying Kessler has physical limitations and could improve his deep accuracy and mechanics. If those cannot be improved, however, at least Kessler can rely on his pocket management. "Kessler feels pressure naturally and eyes are constantly scanning the field while rush avoiding. Like his poise in these situations," Weidl tweeted. We would have ranked Kessler as the third quarterback in the 2015 class if he had declared. Functional mobility is one of his greatest strengths, as is recognizing the open receiver and getting the ball to them in proper timing.
May 29 - 9:57 AM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler makes for a sound Heisman investment even at 12-1 odds, believes ESPN's Travis Haney.

"It’s surprising he isn’t in the single digits, actually, considering he completed 70 percent of his passes and had a 39-5 TD-INT rate in 2014," Haney wrote. "If USC makes a run at the College Football Playoff -- many inside the sport believe it has a legit shot -- Kessler will be a huge part of it and will vault up Heisman boards." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler chipped in 3,826 passing yards last year. Some wonder about how he will deal with breaking in so many new skill players. Don't worry about it: Those guys are just as highly touted as the NFL players who just left.
May 27 - 12:38 AM

NFL Media ranks USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler as the No. 7 Heisman candidate in the country.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year. "He made huge strides last season under new coach Steve Sarkisian, and more improvement is likely this fall," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Mike Huguenin. "In addition, playing quarterback at USC is one of the most glamorous positions in all of college football, and he is going to receive a ton of preseason attention. A legit question is whether he will have enough help surrounding him." We don't think that will be a problem, as the Trojans have several four- and five-star recruits emerging who were formerly backups or high schoolers. Kessler has as much fire power on the outside as he could ask for.
May 26 - 10:34 PM

NFL Media ranks USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler as the No. 11 offensive player in the country.

"The fifth-year veteran not only chose to stay in college instead of jumping to the NFL draft, but tried to convince the Trojans' top underclassmen to do the same," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread. "Look for Kessler to challenge for the Heisman, as long as the USC defense is improved enough to keep the team in Pac-12 contention." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year. He wasn't picked off more than once in any game.
May 23 - 6:45 PM