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Midwestern mentality out West

CARLSBAD, Calif. – It’s hard to imagine developing a tough guy in the sun of southern California with rolling hills giving way to beautiful beaches under perfect year-round weather. But somehow a few have sprung up.

Scott Quessenberry has seen his recruitment take off.

In the class of 2012, Erik Magnuson shunned the west coast sun for the The Big House of Ann Arbor, Mich. One year later, Magnuson’s high school teammate has the same state of mind.

March has seen the emergence of Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon lineman Scott Quessenberry. At 6-4 265 pounds, Quessenberry has some of the most impressive interior offensive line film in the class of 2013. Over the past thirty days he has seen offers come in from the likes of San Diego State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, UCLA, SMU and Washington State.

Quessenberry plays with a mean streak that is a sharp contrast to the serenity of his surroundings and he is proud of it.

“I’m nasty,” Quessenberry said last week. “I’m a good run blocker. I get down and dirty. I could work on pass blocking a little bit more but I get after it. I play to the whistle every play. Sometimes I play after the whistle.”

Quessenberry’s attitude is Midwestern in its tone and he is accordingly drawn to midwestern football, ready to leave the warmth of southern California without hesitation.

“I’m definitely looking for Big Ten schools because the Big Ten is smash mouth football on both sides of the ball,” he said. “So whatever side of the ball I play on, I know I’ll be served well there. I’m alright going to the cold.”

Early on Nebraska and Wisconsin are sitting atop Quessenberry’s list. Nebraska is recruiting the versatile athlete at center, where he played as a sophomore. Wisconsin is recruiting him as a defensive lineman where he played a dominant role in spot duty. San Diego State and UCLA are also programs that have sparked his interest at this early stage in his recruitment.

Though he has the ability to play on either side of the ball at the next level and is being recruited as such, Quessenberry’s preference is on the scoring side, even if he’s not the one doing the scoring.

Quessenberry could end up on either side of the ball.

“Scoring touchdowns man,” said Quessenberry when asked why he prefers offense. “Seeing my friends get the glory kind of kills me but I know I did the grunt work to get them in.”

La Costa Canyon head coach Sean Sovacool knows how special Quessenberry can be.

“The film doesn’t lie,” Sovacool said. “He’s big enough and he’s got the frame where he’s not sloppy and he loves to train. He’s got a ceiling that is as high as you want it to be.”

Athletically, Quessenberry was too good to leave on the bench when the offense left the field. By midseason, his defensive snaps increased significantly for Sovacool and he even worked his way into some productive special teams reps.

“He blocked three punts,” said Coach Sovacool. “He was driving us crazy in practice. He’s the kid of guy that was just jumping in trying to get reps in practice. He was gloving our punts so the next day he went on the punt block team, blocked a couple in practice, blocked a couple in games and then we recovered one for a touchdown. He’s that kind of athlete.”

It’s in his blood.

Quessenberry has two brothers playing major college football. Paul Quessenberry is a 6-2 linebacker at Navy while David Quessenberry is a 6-6 offensive tackle for San Jose State. Scott is likely the best of the bunch but between his brother’s and his former teammate Erik Magnuson, he’ll have plenty of help with what is likely to be some tough decisions in front of him.

“[Magnuson] just said to go with what you feel, definitely go where your heart is and just know you’ve got to go somewhere that they like you as much as you like them,” Quessenberry said.

There are plenty of schools that fit that description and the list is growing. This spring Quessenberry has set up a visit to Wisconsin’s spring game and hopes to get to Nebraska as well. He could see his options continue to grow if his camp performances match his film. Quessenberry will be at the Oakland Nike Camp where he hopes to earn a spot in The Opening.

The supporting cast

Though colleges will be visiting La Costa Canyon to see Quessenberry this spring, there are a few other prospects that they may be noticing while on campus.

According to Sovacool, linebacker Shayne Davern would likely have several offers of his own at this point had he not missed the majority of his junior season due to injury.

“He works so hard and he’s so tough,” Sovacool said of Davern. “He’s got a nose, he’s rangy and he’s solid, he’s packed in and he can tackle. He’s kind of the policeman of the guys. His intangibles are great. He goes out and does a beach workouts in the morning rehabbing his knee and then he comes in at 6am to do the lift with the guys. He’s a nut.”

Running back Deon Dickey also has a chance to get some college interest. A quick, explosive back through the hole that needs to improve on his top end speed, Dickey has made major strides over the past two years and should be the focal point of the La Costa Canyon offense in 2012.

Noah May also could see increased interest this spring, though several other prospects are on the verge. May was a do-everything type player on the defense in 2011 and has tested out as fast as 4.54 in the 40, 4.15 in the short shuttle and 33 inches in the vertical.

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