2013 NFL Draft Interview: San Jose State OT David Quessenberry
David Quessenberry called me as he was driving back from skeet shooting at Camp Pendleton with his dad and was contemplating going surfing later in the day. That's just a snapshot of Quessenberry.
We discussed his career at San Jose State and how he got there, his varied athletic background, and his close-knit family.
Peter Smith: How did you end up at San Jose State?
David Quessenberry: I wasn’t really recruited out of high school. San Jose was the only school that really offered me a chance to play as a preferred walk-on. Coach (Dick) Tomey was the head coach at the time.
At first, I was going to be a normal walk-on; I got accepted to the school, I was going to go up there and enroll in classes and then walk on after camp was over with the other walk-ons.
But coach Tomey, he watched my tape; he saw the player that I could become, he saw the potential, and dropped me a preferred walk-on spot. So, I came in with the other guys to camp and I made the most of my opportunity.
PS: What does it mean to you that went from a 6’6”, 230-pound senior in high school and walk-on to an NFL Draft caliber offensive lineman? Do you carry that with you when you’re on the field?
DQ: I think it’s changed the way I play from Day 1. Walking on, having a chip on my shoulder in everything I did. In the weight room, the film room, on the field, at practice, in the class room; I was always trying to be the best or make the most improvement in everything I did. And I think that has a lot to do with me walking on.
PS: A lot of people first really got to know you at the Senior Bowl. What was your attitude going into that week and what was your attitude coming out?
DQ: Going into the Senior Bowl my attitude was ‘Take no prisoners’. I was also really excited. I was excited to play football again because during the season I had a high ankle sprain that nagged me the whole time.
I was getting treatment, I was practicing the whole week and playing games on it and it never really got better. But then I had some time to rest it , time to get off my feet before the Senior Bowl and I was feeling great. I think what people saw was a healthy me at 100 percent and playing well. So, I was excited and going into the game I knew I was feeling 100 percent and I knew I was going to impress people down there.
PS: You played 27 straight games in a row. Did the high ankle sprain finally make you miss one?
DQ: Exactly. That was the one. I would have played but my trainer advised me it would be a bad decision for the long run for the team.
PS: What was your reaction when you heard NFL Network Draft Analyst Mike Mayock having positive things to say about you on the televised draft coverage?
DQ: I was excited. He’s probably one of the toughest critics out there. Hearing him say some good things, it definitely fired me up when I heard that. It motivated me even more.
PS: Break down your game.
DQ: A technician. A guy with great technique. Fundamental football player and a guy who straps up and brings it every play. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first play or the last play of the game. Every snap, I’m giving 100 percent. That’s what I bring to the table.
PS: I couldn’t help but notice how much stress you and your teammate Ryan Otten put on technique and how early it came up. How much was that stressed at San Jose State?
DQ: Yea, it’s stressed a lot at our program, but I think good players in general understand that technique is really what separates players. When you get to this level, every play is a pretty big, strong, good athlete, but the guys with the best technique and the best fundamentals are the guys that are really gonna succeed.
PS: Where do you feel like you can contribute on the offensive line?
DQ: You name it, I can contribute there. All five spots on the line. There’s not one that I can’t play and there’s not one I don’t want to play. I want to play them all; wherever I can be a top five lineman for any team, that’s where I want to play. I think the best five linemen should play whether I’m a left tackle or center. It doesn’t matter.
PS: Do you feel like you have any limitations in scheme or fit?
DQ: No, I don’t. I think I’m a good offensive lineman. I’m a good fit for a power running scheme or a zone scheme. It doesn’t matter. I know I can play wherever.
PS: Where is your weight now and where are you hoping to get it by camp?
DQ: I’m 305 right now. I’ve been putting on weight since the end of the season. I’m about 305 now walking around. And for camp, I want to be between 305 to 310.
PS: Talk about growing up surfing and playing lacrosse and how that helps you as you go to the NFL?
DQ: I think it’s important for guys to play lots of sports when they are younger, growing up, because that helps your athleticism and adds to your knowledge. That just helps in everything you do.
Lacrosse was real interesting because it was really hard; we did a lot of running. It’s completely different than football as far as the nonstop action, so that definitely helped me when it came to my conditioning, my quickness and breaking down technique. Lacrosse is all about technique. That definitely helped me.
Surfing is something I grew up doing and still do to this day. The waves are looking good today. I think I may paddle out a little later. And that’s something I’ll keep doing long after I’m done playing football.