USC Football News: Cody Kessler on SI’s Heisman Watch List


The hype surrounding USC quarterback Cody Kessler continued Tuesday as Sports Illustrated’s Zac Ellis named him among his top ten Heisman candidates for the coming season.

RELATED: Are Cody Kessler’s Heisman odds realistic?

Listed as the eighth-in-line to the Heisman throne on the post-spring watch list, Kessler made the cut with strong numbers and the potential to bring USC back into the national picture.

Here’s what Ellis had to say about Kessler:

"Expect Kessler and the Trojans to garner a lot of preseason hype as Pac-12 contenders. After throwing for 39 touchdowns against five interceptions in 2014, Kessler opted to return to campus and boosted the Trojans’ expectations this fall. USC returns 14 total starters in Steve Sarkisian’s second season at the helm, and Kessler said the vibe on offense is totally different than this time last year. “We’re going a million times faster this spring. It’s been exciting,” . Receivers like Juju Smith and stood out in spring practice, which could be a great sign for their quarterback. But Kessler’s numbers alone won’t make him a Heisman candidate; turning USC into a playoff contender will. he told last month Steven Mitchell"

SI is not the first publication to list Kessler among their Heisman favorites.

Bovada has the odds for the Trojan quarterback at 12/1, which is seventh in the nation. Sports On Earth’s Matt Brown ranked him seventh and’s Mike Huguenin put him fourth at the end of the season.

More from Reign of Troy

Kessler may not have the flash of other Heisman favorites like Trevone Boykins in TCU’s high-mileage offense or Ohio State’s quarterback-running back duo Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliot, who make up the top three, but Ellis is right in pointing to USC’s status as a major factor.

As a game manager with an exceptional touchdown-to-interception ratio, Kessler need only match his production from 2014, with better results against the likes of UCLA and Arizona State, for his candidacy to be strong.

Though other players have won college football’s most prestigious award on average teams, USC quarterbacks who have the Trojans en route to national championships inevitably draw Heisman attention.

Being the best player on the best team matters as much as flash to many voters.