Quezada Picks BYU

Joshua Quezada announced Saturday that he will sign a scholarship agreement with BYU and enroll this coming January 15 after he takes his finals at La Habra High School. Quezada chose BYU over Utah, among other schools, saying that it was a very close and tough decision for him. TBS caught up with BYU's latest commit to learn more of his commitment.

Joshua Quezada is a 5-foot-11-inch, 205-pound running back prospect from La Habra, California. He had scholarship offers from Utah, Hawaii and Washington, but chose BYU for a lot of reasons, including the honor code.

"The honor code was a big plus in my mind," said Quezada, who is not LDS. "BYU has the sort of atmosphere I want in a school and in a football program. They hold my same standards that I have personally and that was a big thing for me."

From day one that he stepped onto BYU's campus, Quezada felt at home and in the right place.

"I love the players there. They were great with me, and especially the running backs that I met on my trips," said Quezada. "They weren't looking me up thinking that I was going to take their spots or anything like that. They couldn't have been more friendly. At Utah it was the other way around; the running backs weren't that friendly at all and seemed a bit threatened by me. I didn't like that, but I definitely got along well with BYU's running backs that are currently there. They made me feel like I belonged and that they wanted me as a teammate."

By joining midyear, Quezada will aim to play right away. He'll be taking his finals at La Habra High School January 13 and plans to enroll at BYU January 15 to cap off what has been a hectic recruiting process for him.

When Quezada reports to BYU and to the team he'll be coached by Lance Reynolds, who met with him during a last-minute visit to his home. It was Reynolds, as much as anyone else, that convinced Quezada that BYU was the right place for him.

"That was a big thing and I love Coach Reynolds," related Quezada. "I love how he talks to you and talks to you like a man. You want to have a great relationship with your position coach and I feel that I already have that with Coach Reynolds. He's a big reason as to why I chose BYU."

One of the big issues Quezada had with BYU was having to cut his long hair, but at the end of the day two people helped convince him that the matter of long hair wasn't all that important in the grand scheme of things.

"Coach Reynolds sat down and told me to imagine looking back at my decision 10 years from now and thinking that I made it due to my hair, and that really stuck with me," he said. "He told me how silly and tragic it would be that I didn't allow myself to have the great opportunities I'd have at BYU just due to my hair. It went along well with what my head coach here at La Habra, Coach Frank Mazzota, asked me. He asked me if it was my hair that made me who I was or that I make myself who I was. I thought about that a long time and at the end of the day, they're both right. It's not my hair that defines me, I define myself."

Quezada also had some prodding from top Cougar commit Jake Heaps, who had been on the phone with him quite consistently over the past few weeks.

"Jake has been so good at giving me good advice more than anything else," said Quezada. "He's explained everything so well to me and the opportunities I'd have at BYU. He's a top recruit, so just playing with a caliber of player that he is helped a lot. I really do like Utah and it was a very hard decision for me, but I just felt more at home with BYU's coaches and players than I did at Utah, and that was probably the biggest thing."

Another big factor was his ability to play early at BYU. Most midyear high school transfers are determined to contribute right away as true freshmen, and Quezada believes he'll have that opportunity at BYU.

"I know that Utah has a lot of guys back and that BYU doesn't," he said. "Unga might go to the NFL and they have some good running backs there that I'll have to compete with, but Utah has returning starters and Matt Asiata is going to probably get another year, so I think I have a much better chance of playing early at BYU than I would at Utah."

Right now he's just excited to have the process behind him and is excited for the opportunities he'll have at BYU.

"BYU fits me and who I am as a person," he said. "I've felt comfortable with everything about them and with them from day one and that's grown stronger over the recruiting process. I'm very excited for my opportunities there and I feel that BYU will help me reach my goals that I have for myself. I can't wait to get there."

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