While all is well and good with USC’s starting quarterback, there was a moment or two of trepidation earlier in the week.
During a scrimmage Wednesday, a teammate was blocked into Cody Kessler, with the defensive lineman rolling up on his left leg. But, as the Orange County Register wrote, Kessler’s “foot slipped out from underneath the 275-pound defensive end’s body just in time.”
Kessler went unscathed physically, but the mental scar tissue may linger for a bit.
“I wouldn’t say I was in shock, but it freaked me out,” the starter said following practice Friday, the first one since the injury scare. “I was thinking, ‘Oh man, I just almost lost my knee. It was more of a frightened, scared feeling as much as anything. You never think it’s going to happen to you. … It was that close to happening.”
“I was very lucky,” Kessler added.
A healthy Kessler is key for the Trojans as they look to bounce back on to the national stage under first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian.
As a redshirt sophomore last season and tasked with the responsibility of replacing longtime starter Matt Barkley, Kessler performed exceptionally well as he completed just over 65 percent of his passes for 20 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. Kessler had been involved in a nominal quarterback competition with Max Browne this spring before being officially named the starter in mid-April.