Georgia lands legacy Houston Kessler as final signee of 2012 hoops class

We now know who was Georgia’s “Plan B” to Tony Parker.

Houston Kessler, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward out of Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, signed with the Bulldogs on Tuesday night and faxed in his signed letter-of-intent Wednesday morning, his coach confirmed.

“They have been watching him since his sophomore year,” Landmark Christian coach Chip McAllister said via email. “They have always really liked him. He had a huge year this year and as the season wore on things just fell into place.”

Kessler is a UGA legacy, the son of former Georgia basketball player Chad Kessler and the nephew of the late Alec Kessler, who starred for the Bulldogs’ 1990 SEC championship team. Kessler averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds as a senior at the Class A private school and finished as Landmark’s career scoring leader at 1,600 points. The War Eagles have gone 39-16 over the past two seasons, including a 20-8 mark in 2012 that was capped by a Round of 16 showing in the Class A state tournament.

“Houston is a skilled forward,” coach Mark Fox said in a statement released by UGA. “He is a great shooter and rebounder and we are looking forward to having him join our team next year.”

McAllister described Kessler as a great shooter and rebounder and “very hard worker.”

“He’s still developing as a player,” McAllister said. “He has a huge upside. He’s still growing. Phenomenal kid, brilliant student, Salutatorian of his class. Underrated athleticism. Diamond in the rough.”

Kessler becomes the fourth and final member of Georgia’s 2012 recruiting class. He joins 6-4 guard Kenny Gaines of Whitefield Academy, 6-6 guard Charles Mann of Milton and 6-8 forward Brandon Morris of Miller Grove.

Parker, a 6-9, 280-pound forward from Miller Grove and a McDonald’s All-American, chose UCLA over UGA on Monday.

– Chip Towers, The UGA Blog

85 comments Add your comment

bjohndawg

April 25th, 2012
10:22 am

Great to have him as a Dawg. Hope he plays like his brothers.
In the end this might work out best for Fox, as you would think he is there for four years.
And he wants to be at UGA.

epic quibble

April 25th, 2012
10:22 am

DGD! Welcome home!

bjohndawg

April 25th, 2012
10:23 am

Good to see this happening.
Hope he can contribute like his father and late uncle.

OH! Boy

April 25th, 2012
10:30 am

Whoopi!!! That’s a great replacement for Parker….NOT. UGA basketball should jut go intramural and play the late night college kids

Lowcountry Bulldawg

April 25th, 2012
10:31 am

Welcome Houston! Alec was a DGD and proud to have you in Athens!

Bulldawg class of 78

April 25th, 2012
10:33 am

Finally, a REAL BULLDAWG! I am tired of spoiled players. We have a smart, talented, HUNGRY, Dawg! I have coached h.s. basketball and taught for 33 years. I used to support AAU. No longer.

Judge Dawg

April 25th, 2012
10:33 am

I hoped that he would be the plan B. We will get more our of him in 4 years than Parker in 2.

Mike

April 25th, 2012
10:34 am

Sounds like he’s 2 or 3 inches taller than his Dad was already. Chad was good and had great fundamentals and could have used some more height. I’m thinking Houston will turn out to be a good player. Not suprised he’s a good student.

LakeDawg

April 25th, 2012
10:35 am

If he has the athleticism and basketball smarts of his father and uncle he will be a great pick up.

Destin Dawg

April 25th, 2012
10:36 am

YEAH !!! Go Dawgs… BBall program going up hill !!!

One of pepper's old players

April 25th, 2012
10:36 am

As a tech alum, I have to say that there are few players that I enjoyed watching more than Chad and Alec. Nobody worked harder and nobody played to their potential like those guys. Great students and great citizens…Houston will be good for UGA and unlike that prima donna, he will be thrilled to be a bulldog.

Jacket Man

April 25th, 2012
10:44 am

Great news for Houston and the Bulldog Nation. Congratulations and best of luck in Athens; don’t forget to get your great education as a scholar athlete and you’ll be set for life.

Chase

April 25th, 2012
10:45 am

Kid sounds like a player, excited to see him play. Glad to hear he’s part of a legacy too, that’s always a good thing at UGA. Forget Tony Parker and his hollywood bull crap. Donte Williams is gonna bulk up this offseason and CMF is gonna build him and Kessler up into a dominating inside presence hopefully. Go Dawgs!

Boulder Molder

April 25th, 2012
10:47 am

yeah…right…

RHall55

April 25th, 2012
10:50 am

Now. it is time for Coach Will (Gomer) Friend to get some OL!! C’mon Man, do your job!!!

BigTimeTechFan

April 25th, 2012
11:01 am

Oh yea, Chad and Alec were friends from HS, great guys. I played with both and they were awesome. Chad was better in HS but I only knew him his senior year so he was already developed, Alex was good, I went away to Marine Corps and came back and he dunked on me hard (summer before UGA inroll) and just smiled like I got you now.

I’ll always remember Alec, he was great kid, great player and very smart, was top accademic All-American for all NCAA sports, Micro-biology major, and 1st round NBA pick.
Chad was just as good of a guy and congrats to his son. If he’s anything like his dad and uncle he will represent UGA well.

BigTimeTechFan

April 25th, 2012
11:02 am

BigDawg

April 25th, 2012
11:20 am

Welcome to UGA!

Sweet Home Alabama

April 25th, 2012
11:27 am

Sweet Home endorses this transaction.One year vs four.good deal.

ROLL TIDE ROLL………….

Mateo

April 25th, 2012
11:42 am

Isn’t it a contradiction that he’s a brilliant student and a future UGA enrollee? I didn’t know you could be both in order to get into the farming school!

Dap01

April 25th, 2012
11:43 am

I would rather have Kessler than an egotistical one and done player. Kessler will be a great Bulldawg.

Who was impressed with Parker’s Lebron like announcement earlier this week. I am glad he took his talentZ elsewhere.

TheTruth

April 25th, 2012
11:45 am

Team GPA will go up, he will be there at least 4 years, and he may develop into an outstanding player. Win Win!

Lakerman

April 25th, 2012
11:46 am

Congrats on seeing Houston Kessler continue the family legacy with Georgia Basketball. I saw both his and his uncle play in HS at Roswell, then continue their stellar collegiate careers at Georgia. Houston is already the same size as his dad (Chad is 6-foot-8), and could develop into a tremendous player both on and off the court. You guys are right – the Dawgs will get more out of Kessler in four seasons than they would have out of Parker in one or two.

Hummon

April 25th, 2012
11:48 am

Amen, Dap01. I started watching that thing hopeful we would get him and finished up almost (not totally, but almost) relieved that we didn’t.

black1

April 25th, 2012
11:51 am

Ok there these kid really 6″4, 6″6, and 6″8. How about two inches shorter I bet

Birddawg

April 25th, 2012
11:57 am

Good deal, hopefully he can add some weight/muscle. They definitely need more big men.

T Dawg

April 25th, 2012
11:59 am

Mateo if I;m not mistaken Alex was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated in the medical field. When was the last time one of your player’s graduated with such a pedigree other than car jacking?

Nice to have a real Georgia kid staying home instead of some pompous arse jerk.

poopdawg

April 25th, 2012
12:15 pm

A big guy that can shoot and hustles is always an asset. His dad was a DGD. Congrats Houston !

DawginLex

April 25th, 2012
12:17 pm

His dad and his uncle were DGD’s.

Hope this kid can grow and mature and get stronger and be a help in the paint.

Face facts, he is no tony Parker but he will be around 4 years and his posse is a lot easier to deal with

AltamahaDawg

April 25th, 2012
12:27 pm

Very good memories of the Kessler Brothers in my days. I like this a lot.

59bulldawg

April 25th, 2012
12:29 pm

If he is anything like his dad and uncle (and I suspect he will be if not already) then we just picked up a hell of a player who will hard and help us. Great pick up! I enjoyed watching his dad and brother play and I really like this signing! Good move coach!

AltamahaDawg

April 25th, 2012
12:31 pm

Never forget watching his dad force Shaq to foul out that fine spring day.

Or his Uncle kicking my butt in a Physics class one summer.

Dawg Alum

April 25th, 2012
12:36 pm

This great news!!! A very bright, hard working super player who will be with us for four years. Parker would have been great, but high maintenance and most likely a “1 and done” type player.

tony

April 25th, 2012
12:37 pm

I wish Kessler the best but I am very sadden that Tony Parker didn’t sign with the dawgs because I was looking forward to watching him play. Good luck to the young man. UGA is No. 2 in the nation in football revenue(71mil), trailing only Texas and should consider using some of that money to build a state of the art basketball arena and maybe hire a very good hc(Brad Stevens) who knows how to relate to today’s players………that is if Fox doesn’t work out.

This state has produce enough nba star players that if UGA and GT had had better basketball arenas and the best coaches that money can buy, I believe both programs would have won many championships. Those things would inspire these young men to want to play for their home state.

Star NBA Players From GA:
1) Walt Frazier
2) World B. Free
3) Norm Nixon
4) Wilbur Holland
5) Mike Mitchell
6) Lloyd Neal
7) Robert Reid
8) Elmore Smith
9) Shareef Abdur-Rahim
10) Dale Ellis
11) Derek Harper
12) Horace Grant
13) Dwight Howard
14) Josh Smith

Ole Yeller Dawg

April 25th, 2012
12:39 pm

Another Todd Van Poppel to Chipper Jones story all over again! Welcome Houston you have DGD DNA!

WOW !!!

April 25th, 2012
12:41 pm

Congrats to UGA. This kid is fantastic. Athletic, already competes at a very high level, aggressive, and very smart. Yeah for Houston !!!! And I agree….hey Tony Paker, as NJ Govenor Christie told the Nets who are headed to Brooklyn, “go on, I don’t want you here anymore”. Tony Parker’s BIG Lebron like “I’m taking my talents to UCLA”……GOOD RIDDANCE YOU JOKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg Haus

April 25th, 2012
12:45 pm

Great news! Congrats and welcome to the Bulldog Nation, Houston!

TX Jacket

April 25th, 2012
12:47 pm

Good for him and y’all. He sounds like a student athlete that any program would be proud to have at the college/team. Echoing others, I would rather have a hard worker for 4 years than a prima donna for 1 or 2.

What??

April 25th, 2012
12:49 pm

No 1 hour announcement party?? What’s up with this kid?? You mean he actually has class, sportsmanship, and has a solid core group of folks giving him advice??

No AAU coach bending his ear???

collegeballfan

April 25th, 2012
12:53 pm

This gives Fox a solid 4 man class. Kessler has a lot of room to grow as a player. Not signing this player would have been a mistake. This will partially make up for Fox not retaining Daniel Miller.

You UGA grads need to keep selling out the house for all home games.

bucket

April 25th, 2012
1:14 pm

In my opinion this is the approach that CMF needs to take in recruiting. We all want the 4 and 5 star great athletes that give you instant success, but with UGA’s basketball tradition it’s going to be really hard to convince those types of players to say no to Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA, etc. Fox needs to go after the less heralded and perhaps less talented players (initially) that he can coach up and hang onto for 3 or 4 years and build the program into a consistent winner. With all the talent that is in this state Fox should be able to find plenty of those type of guys who want to play @ UGA. If Kessler grows into the type of player that his dad and uncle was, he will make all Dawg fans proud!

To RHall

April 25th, 2012
1:15 pm

If you are a UGA fan, I have good news for you. The Dogs will be taking 6-7 OL in this class likely, and most will be in-state guys. Just be patient. We should be getting commits from 2-3 in the near future, and close on some others this summer.

If you are not a UGA fan, the above is bad news for you. There is a bumper crop of big uglies out there this year and the Dogs are going to clean up in that area.

As for Kessler, I remember watching his uncle and father play. Good pickup for the Dogs, though not a flashy one.

McDawg

April 25th, 2012
1:16 pm

forget about Parker move on

phil

April 25th, 2012
1:19 pm

“He’s still developing as a player,” McAllister said. “He has a huge upside. He’s still growing.

*************
In other words, he isn’t any good.

Yawn.

Fire CMF!!

Dawg1

April 25th, 2012
1:21 pm

Tech fans – class post. And you should know that the other school in the running was Georgia Tech.

My son is in his class. He is everything written and what you hear. Great kid, great parents. I know Landmark will miss him for a lot more reasons that have nothing to do with basketball.

Will represent God, family, himself and Georgia well…

phil

April 25th, 2012
1:22 pm

AltamahaDawg

April 25th, 2012
12:31 pm

Never forget watching his dad force Shaq to foul out that fine spring day.
*************
I was at that game and it was indeed a fine day! Unfortunate that 22 years later, we still stink on average and have never come close to that 1990 team…

Fire CMF!!

BigTimeTechFan

April 25th, 2012
1:26 pm

anyone know of a kid name .Reuben Foster, I met him and he said he was a HS player. He said he was being recruited and was going to Alabama.
Is he any good, he seem like nice kid. Pretty big, I’m guessing he plays LB or RB
I asked him about Tech and he said he was planning on visiting, had friend there and would like to go to Tech.

Mateo

April 25th, 2012
1:36 pm

and I’m a loser:(

Bama Pride

April 25th, 2012
1:48 pm

Here are words you do not necessarily want to hear about regarding signees:
– huge upside
– great potential
– diamond in the rough
– underrated athleticism

“SETTLE” is the word to describe what just happened.

Let’s put this into context of what just happened; UGA could not land proven bonafide targets – so they had to “SETTLE” on kids to get bodies into the program.

And UGA basketball is STILL in rebuild mode entering Coach Fox’s 4th year.
Why?
1. Because UGA basketball is very comparable to INDIANA FOOTBALL.

2. The real talent wants to go to UCLA, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Mich. State, etc. Just like the top recruits in football want to go to ALABAMA, USC, Ohio State, etc.
NO ELITE talent wants to go

kingster

April 25th, 2012
1:59 pm

Good for Mr. Kessler, I’m happy for him and I wish him well, but why did he have to plan B,does this mean if Tony Parker had said yes, would Mr. Kessler have to walk on or go somewhere else, you guys are some very funny and mean dawgs.