San Jose State Spartans
La Costa Canyon High School
The son of a retired U.S. Navy captain, Quessenberry had that hard work ethic instilled in him at a very young age, along with a “never quit” attitude. Those traits came in handy after he completed his high school football eligibility and sat near his mail box and telephone waiting for scholarship offers that never came.
It was not as if he was on the “radar” for college recruiters during his playing days at La Costa Canyon High School. As a prepster, he lettered in football and also performed on the lacrosse team. As a junior, the 6:03, 190-pound offensive lineman helped the Mavericks compile a 9-3 record. The following season, he grew two inches and added 35 pounds to his frame, as the team managed a 7-4 mark.
Quessenberry was determined that his football career would not end on the fields of Carlsbad, California, so, he started making phone calls to see if he could draw interest. When he still did not get a nibble, he decided to enroll at San Jose State and join the football team as a walk-on. The fact that the coaches did not even know him, or could even figure out what position to line him up at did not dissuade the athlete from his goal – to one day play for the San Diego Chargers.
That dream will have to wait until at least the end of April, though, but he has built up a very nice resume since becoming a mainstay on the Spartans’ offensive line as a sophomore. All-Western Athletic Conference honors in each of his last two years, along with being a finalist for the 2012 Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the top Football Bowl Subdivision player that began his career as a non-scholarship performer have certainly made him well-known in NFL scouting circles.
Quessenberry’s performance the last two years also caught the attention of Phil Savage, the former Cleveland Browns executive who runs one of the most prestigious all-star games in the industry. When the Spartans left tackle’s phone rang in late December, he did not hesitate to say “yes” to Savage’s invitation to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl.
After a solid week of showing off his skills during practices, Quessenberry then took the next step in enhancing his rising draft stock – performing at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. In Indianapolis, he recorded one of the fastest 40-yard dash times for an offensive lineman at 5.08 seconds.
He also posted one of the best 20-yard shuttle drills (4.45) of all players in attendance and with a 33 7/8-inch arm length, 10 ½-inch hands and 81 1/8-inch wing-span, this once 190-pound offensive lineman certainly looks the part of a pro blocker at 6:05, 302 pounds.
With his skill-set duly recognized, Quessenberry still reflects on the time when nobody really wanted the former Maverick. “I didn’t get any scholarship offers,” he says. He was a “tweener” when he first reported to San Jose State University, becoming a 235-pound tight end who probably didn’t have the speed to play Division I football and didn’t have the résumé as a defender to excite anybody.
But Dick Tomey, then Spartans head coach, saw something in the player and gave him the chance to come to San Jose as a preferred walk-on in 2008. Tomey saw in him a developing offensive tackle, so Quessenberry redshirted his first year, basically to bulk up. It worked. He bulked up in the off-season and returned to the University for the start of 2009 fall camp, tipping the scales at 275 pounds of muscle.
“I just wanted to play college football,” Quessenberry said. “I was willing to play any position just as long as I could make it as a walk-on. Coach Tomey sat me down and said if you want to play football here, you have to gain weight. I sent out tape. I didn’t fit in the box for recruiting — too tall and skinny to be an offensive lineman and too slow to be a tight end. And I didn’t have enough defensive game film.”
“When was I going to fit? I was always confident in my ability. It was more, where is this guy going to play? I put on about 60 pounds. I had a lot of help from our strength coaches. I wore out the weight room. But I ate a lot of food. I mean a lot of food. Not necessarily bad stuff, but a lot of protein. I just ate as much as I could.”
As a redshirt freshman, he basically served as a punt protector on special teams. But by his sophomore year, he was ready, and he was given a scholarship. The now 290-pound left offensive tackle was one of six players on the team to start all thirteen games in 2010. He also continued to perform as a punt protector, but the young team went through “growing pains,” finishing with a 1-12 record, thanks to a feeble running attack that ranked 119th of 120 major colleges with an average of 78.54 yards per game.
Quessenberry remained the team’s starting left tackle for all twelve games in 2011 and was recognized by the league’s coaches with an All-Western Athletic Conference second-team honor. He delivered eleven touchdown-resulting blocks and while the running corps was still a work in progress, his pass protection skills helped the Spartans average 276.83 yards per game with their aerial skills.
As a senior, Quessenberry continued to ascend up the draft charts, starting twelve games at left tackle. An ankle sprain sidelined him vs. Colorado State, snapping his 27-game starting string, but with 106 knockdowns to show for his efforts, he garnered All-WAC first-team accolades.
Under Tomey’s replacement, Mike MacIntyre, the Spartans finished the 2012 season with an 11-2 record, the most victories by a Spartans squad since the 1940 team went 11-1. It also marked just the sixth time since San Jose State started playing football in 1893 that a team had at least ten victories during a season.
“David is, number-one, a team leader, and he’s the heart and soul of our offense,” MacIntyre said before the Spartans played in the Military Bowl vs. Bowling Green. “He made such tremendous strides. We put him at offensive tackle and watched him blossom. He worked so hard. He’s just a phenomenal kid.”
Brandon Burlsworth was a walk-on at Arkansas in 1994 and worked his way to All-American status in 1998. He was drafted by the Colts but died eleven days later in a traffic accident. The Springsdale, Arkansas Rotary Club now sponsors the Burlsworth Award, which is given to a player who began his career as a walk-on.
Quessenberry was one of this year’s three finalists, the award being won by Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin. “It was an honor to be a finalist,” said the Spartans left tackle.
“I never would have been a finalist if we didn’t have the season we had. But we knew we had it in us. We worked hard during the offseason.”
The Quessenberrys of Carlsbad are quite the football family. David’s brother, Paul, is a sophomore defensive end at Navy. The Spartans beat the Middies 12-0 earlier in the year, so it was brother vs. brother. “Paul’s really good,” David says. “He’s made great progress.”
And then there’s younger brother Scott, who just finished his senior season as an offensive/defensive lineman at La Costa Canyon. “He’s going to UCLA,” Quessenberry says. “Now, he’s a stud.”
Quessenberry recently graduated from San Jose State with a degree in history. But before he puts it to use, he wants to play pro ball. An invitation to the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine will definitely help him realize his dream. “I hope so,” he says. “I think I’ve proved I’m a guy who can play at the next level. Even if I didn’t get an invitation it doesn’t mean I can’t play. But I’m thankful I got that experience.”
Quessenberry played in 49 games, starting the final 37 contests he appeared in at the demanding left offensive position…In 2013, he became the first Spartans offensive lineman to play in the Senior Bowl, earning that invitation after he recorded 242 knock-downs and 32 touchdown-resulting blocks, along with posting a pair of solo tackles during his time playing for the first unit.
Quessenberry was a member of The NFL Draft Report’s All-American third-team and also received Super Sleeper Team (most underrated players at each position) accolades…The league’s coaches named him an All-Western Athletic Conference first-team pick…Was one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy honoring the top Football Bowl Subdivision player that began his career as a non-scholarship player…Started twelve games at left offensive tackle, missing the Colorado State clash with an ankle sprain, snap[ping his streak of 27 consecutive starting assignments…Was also a member of the Lombardi Award Watch List and became the first Spartans offensive lineman to play in the Senior Bowl…Went head-to-head vs. his younger brother, Paul Quessenberry, an outside line-backer for Navy, in the Spartans’ 12-0 win over the Midshipmen, as David delvered nine knockdowns for a unit that gained 388 yards…Provided outstanding pass protection, helping the Spartans gain at least 500 yards in total offense five times – including 571 vs. Texas State and 504 vs. New Mexico State…San Jose State collected 503 yards vs. Cal-Davis, with the left tackle posting nine knockdowns, as he also leveled defensive end Nick King to spring tailback De’Leon Eskridge for a 17-yard second quarter touchdown run…
The Spartans exploded for a season-high 610 yards, as Quessenberry delivered ten knockdowns and two touchdown-resulting blocks for a running unit that tallied 243 yards. The left tackle cleared a rush lane used by Eskridge for a 1-yard scoring burst and then flattened linebacker Solomon Randle with a slip block, giving QB David Fales time to find tight end Ryan Otten with an 18-yard scoring strike.
Quessenberry started all twelve games at left offensive tackle, earning second-team All-WAC honors…One of two offensive linemen to start in every contest, he registered 83 knockdowns and eleven touchdown-resulting blocks, as he also recorded a solo tackle after an interception vs. Louisiana Tech…Helped the Spartans rank second in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in passing, averaging 276.83 yards per game…Did not allow any of the seventeen sacks given up by the front wall.
Quessenberry took over left tackle duties, starting all thirteen games, in addition to performing on special teams as a punt protector and lineman on kick-scoring tries… Placed on scholarship prior to the beginning of the season, he produced six touchdown-resulting blocks for a struggling running corps that scored just seven times….Recorded 53 knockdowns for a squad that averaged 315.08 yards per game, including an average of 236.54 yards per game by their passing attack…Added a solo tackle in the Cal Poly clash.
The walk-on played in all twelve games as a reserve offensive tackle and extra tight end…Also saw most of his action on special teams.
Quessenberry red-shirted as a true freshman after joining the team as a walk-on.
2011 Season…Played in every game, but was bothered by sprains to both ankles.
2012 Season…Quessenberry suffered a right ankle sprain early in the Cal-Davis contest (9/08), but continued to play throughout the game. However, he missed practices leading up to the Colorado State clash (9/15) and the coaches held him out of that contest to help him further recover.
5.08 in the 40-yard dash…1.79 10-yard dash…2.90 20-yard dash…4.45 20-yard shuttle…
7.49 three-cone drill…29 ½-inch vertical jump…9’3” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times…33 7/8-inch arm length…10 ½-inch hands…81 1/8-inch wingspan.
Quessenberry attended La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Cal.) High School, playing football for head coach Darren Brown…Also lettered in lacrosse…As a junior, the 6:03, 190-pound offensive lineman helped the Mavericks compile a 9-3 record…The following season, he grew two inches and added 35 pounds to his frame, as the team managed a 7-4 mark.
Quessenberry graduated in December, 2012 with a degree in History…Paul Quessenberry, David’s younger brother, is a sophomore second-string defensive end and linebacker for Navy…Their younger brother Scott, just finished his senior season as an offensive and defensive lineman at La Costa Canyon High School and will play football at UCLA in 2013…Their father, David Sr. graduated from the Naval Academy in 1980 and played football for the Midshipmen. He spent 30 years in the service, the final 22 as a Navy Reserve, and retired as a captain in 2010…All three of his sons, including his youngest, Scott, have attended reunions at the Academy and own an appreciation for their father’s military background while growing up in the San Diego area. “His approach in life and the things he instilled in us at a young age definitely played a big role growing up,” Paul said.
“We learned things like hard work and discipline and doing things right the first time,” the younger David said…Born 8/24/90…Resides in La Jolla, California.
Data provided by Dave-Te Thomas, Publisher of the NFL Draft Reports for TonySoftli.com & Tony Softli Draft Board; Distributed by Scouting Services, Inc. © Copyright 2012/13 – All Rights Reserved; Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Scouting Services Inc. is strictly prohibited.