Quezada Coming to Provo

Joshua Quezada is set to arrive at BYU this next weekend after enduring quite an experience from this past Thanksgiving weekend up to the second week of January. With everything behind him and his commitment solid, he'll be arriving in Provo hungry and set to compete while giving everything he has on the football field and in the classroom.

Joshua Quezada is a 5-foot-11-inch, 205-pound running back prospect from La Habra High School in Southern California. He committed to BYU last month in what he termed as being a "very close call between BYU and Utah."

While his recruitment was obviously a big thing going at the time leading up to his public commitment, it wasn't even the biggest thing he and his family were enduring at the time. The entire Quezada family was displaced from their home for almost two months and will get to sleep in their own beds Sunday night for the first time since the fire.

"Our house caught on fire the day before this past Thanksgiving," he related. "It didn't burn down, but it burned all of my mom's clothes and enough of the house and our stuff that we couldn't live there until tonight, where I'll finally be able to sleep in my own bed along with the rest of my family."

Since the fire, Quezada has been living with his older brother. His mother has had to make do in a hotel room, the cost of which was fortunately covered by insurance. The tricky part of her stay, however, was caused by having to run a daycare service that she normally runs out of her home.

"It's been tough and I've tried hard, as we all have, to help out during the time when we haven't been able to live at home," he said. "Fortunately it all ends tonight, but we worked through it and it was really a bit crazy there for a while. But thankfully we'll all go back to normal starting tonight, as everything has been repaired and replaced by insurance."

It was right after being displaced from his home that Quezada received what was supposed to be an in-home visit from Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Due to his family's circumstances, the meeting had to take place in a community center.

In a post-season interview, Mendenhall expressed to reporters how impressed he was to witness Quezada attending to all the children before sitting down to talk with him. After seeing his demeanor with the children, the Cougar head coach felt strongly that BYU was a place where he could thrive.

"I have a lot of experience with children and I love being around kids," said Quezada. "I have a lot of younger siblings, and with my mom running a daycare service I've had a lot of experience dealing with younger kids, and I love helping out and feel it's my responsibility to help out where I can."

One of the things Quezada, who is not LDS, took special note of while on his official trip to BYU was the fireside he attended with the team the night prior to game day. It was a very unique experience for him, but was something he immediately took to.

"I love that kind of stuff," he said regarding the fireside. "It was a cool thing listening to all the players talk about God and the important things in life. There were a lot of kids there and they all stayed after and shook their hands and talked quite a long time to each kid. I felt at home with that sort of thing and I'm anxious to have that and other service opportunities while I'm at BYU. It's a great thing they do with that sort of stuff and is definitely a big reason as to why I'm going to BYU."

Since committing to BYU Quezada has received visits from assistant coaches Steve Kaufusi and Robert Anae, who visited him jointly just this past Wednesday.

"I really like both of them and how they talk to you," he said about both coaches. "I've also become real good friends with Coach Kaufusi's son, Bronson. We text each other quite a bit and I can't wait to play there with him. I hear he's a beast and one of the best athletes there is. I also keep in touch with Jake Heaps a lot and it's great that I already have so many great friends at BYU before I even get there."

Quezada has also kept in touch with people in the Ute program. Since his final decision between BYU and Utah was such a close one, he still feels a certain kinship with Utah players and coaches.

"It was real close, really close between BYU and Utah, and I seriously didn't make my mind up until the night before my commitment," he related. "So now I talk some with Utah players and they're great. They don't try to pressure me to change my commit and they're just being friends, which is fine. I'm committed to BYU and that isn't going to change, and they know that and respect that."

According to Quezada, the tipping point toward BYU was running back coach Lance Reynolds. He was really won over by the coach's overall demeanor and personal manner towards him.

"I love Coach Reynolds and couldn't imagine having a better position coach than him in college," he expressed. "I talk to him every day. Every day I look forward to our phone conversations. He's a great man and a great coach that I'm going to learn a ton from. I've already learned a lot from him already. He was the difference between BYU and Utah when it came down to it."

When Quezada arrives at BYU, he'll take up residence with another Southern California prep phenom.

"I'll be rooming with Uona Kaveinga, who transferred from USC," he explained. "I haven't met him or even talked to him yet, but coaches told me all about him and they think I'll get along great with him."

So now that his arrival is at hand, does Quezada feel any regret or anxiety about what will be a whole new experience for him?

"Oh, I don't feel nervous any regret or anything, I'm just so excited to finally get going," he answered. "It's been such a long process. I took my time in making my final decision because I wanted to be sure of it. I'm very sure that BYU is the best place for me and I can't wait to get there to take advantage of all the opportunities I'll have there on and off the football field. I'm hungry, really hungry to get going.

"I want to start studying the playbook so I know it inside and out before spring practice starts," he continued. "I want to get the college routine down pat so I'm not still figuring things out when practices start. The way to do that is to meet every challenge hard right when I get there so I can get used to everything. I want to fit in fast, so I don't have to work through those things while I'm trying to make a spot for myself on the team. I really can't wait to get there, it's an exciting time for me."

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