Kessman Kicks it Off; Memphis Showboats of the USFL Sign Kicker Alex Kessman
The Memphis Showboats (formerly the Tampa Bay Bandits) make an addition to their roster on January 28th, 2023, with the signing of kicker Alex Kessman. Let's discuss that;
The 25-year-old Kessman, a former standout at the University of Pittsburgh, brings a ton of potential to the Showboats Special Teams unit. During his 4 years with Pitt, he played 50 games, establishing himself as one of the most prolific Kickers in the program's history. He racked up 341 points during his career, thanks to his 69 field goals (69/96, 71.8%) and 134 extra points (134/138, 97.1%). He also set Pitt records for most 50-yard field goals in a career (12) and season (Four in 2020). Over the course of Kessmans collegiate career, he went 12/18 on field goals over 50 yards, which is an impressive 66.7% success rate that set an NCAA record.
Following his successful college career, Kessman was picked up by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021, however, he was released before seeing any game time. He was later signed by the New York Jets where he only played in one game, where the nerves might have gotten to him. In his debut, he missed both the PATs he attempted, which were the only kicks he attempted that night.
It's worth noting that the Showboats' decision to sign Alex Kessman comes on the heels of the team's release of Kicker Tyler Rausa earlier this week. Rausa had a solid season for the Bandits in 2020, going 9/14 (64.2%) on field goals and 15/16 (93.7%) on PATs. He was particularly reliable on kicks under 40 yards, connecting on 22/25 (88%) attempts. However, Rausa struggled on longer kicks, going 1/3 on kicks between 40-49 yards, and 0/2 on kicks over 50 yards.
The signing of Alex Kessman shows the 'Boats' desire for consistent completions on long-range field goals, and his impressive college record suggests he will be a valuable asset for the club. With his strong leg and proven record of accuracy, Kessman will be looking to prove himself in the USFL in the Showboats' first season in Memphis.