Cody Kessler Named Phil Steele Preseason All-American


Cody Kessler and Max Tuerk were named preseason All-American first teamers by Phil Steele on Monday. Su’a Cravens and Adoree’ Jackson were named to the second team defense.

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Kessler beat out TCU’s Trevone Boykin, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott and Michigan State’s Connor Cook as the top quarterback heading into the 2015 season.

Tuerk was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list in May and is expected to be one of the top centers in the nation. In fact, Steve Sarkisian called him “the best center in the country” earlier this spring, a sentiment which Steele seems to second.

On defense, Su’a Cravens missed out on cracking the first team, behind Arizona’s Scooby Wright, Georgia’s Leonard Floyd, Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith and Alabama’s Reggie Ragland at linebacker.

Wright represents the only other Pac-12 player on Steele’s first team offense or defense aside from Kessler and Tuerk. Utah punter Tom Hackett did make first team special teams.

At cornerback, Jackson fit into the second team alongside former USC recruit Jalen Ramsey of Florida State. Both were topped by Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves III and Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller.

Steele’s All-Pac-12 team is also littered with Trojans.

Unsurprisingly given their national status, Kessler and Tuerk were named to the first team offense. In conference, Cravens and Jackson were boosted up to first team as well.

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JuJu Smith and Zach Banner made the second team while Viane Talamaivao and Toa Lobendahn are on the fourth team offense.

On defense, second team Trojans include Antwaun Woods and Delvon Simmons. The fourth team features Claude Pelon, Anthony Sarao and Leon McQuay III.

Surprisingly, Kevon Seymour failed to make his way into Steele’s projections.

USC enters the fall with a load of expectations. With Kessler expected to build on his record-breaking 2014 season by challenging for the Heisman trophy, the Trojans are a favorite to win the Pac-12.

Those expectations are only raised by the potential shown by Cravens and Jackson on the defensive side of the ball.