When David Quessenberry became a member of the San Jose State University football program in 2008, he was battle-tested and would face many battles ahead. Quessenberry would win his battles, come out ahead and be rewarded for them.
Originally, he was a non-scholarship prospect without a defined position. Quessenberry would grow, mature physically and evolve into cornerstone offensive left tackle. He was a team captain on the 2012 Spartans' 11-2 team that won the Military Bowl and finished the season ranked 21st nationally in the final Associated Press college football poll.
The first-team All-Western Athletic Conference offensive tackle was a 2013 sixth round draft choice of the Houston Texans. Little is guaranteed as a National Football League (NFL) player. For Quessenberry, his pursuit of a professional football career now includes overcoming a three-year battle with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
For fighting the longest and most grueling battle of his life and being declared cancer-free he will be the 2017 recipient of the George Halas Award, award annually since 1969 by the Professional Football Writers Association (PFWA) to the "...NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed."
The award is named after one of the founding fathers of the NFL. Halas' Hall of Fame football career spanned 73 years with the Chicago Bears as a player, coach, and owner.
"...Every day, my reactions are coming back to where I want it to be and where I hope them to be," Quessenberry said about returning to being a full-fledged professional football player in a recent interview on HoustonTexans.com. "Now, it's here, it's a blessing for sure and I'm loving it. I'm stronger mentally, physically. I feel very strong."
Quessenberry missed his rookie season in the NFL due to a foot injury. In June 2014, dealing with fatigue issues, he learned of his diagnosis and spent the next three seasons on the Texans' non-football illness list. The former San Jose State star completed his treatments in April 2017 and was cleared to participate in the team's optional training camp activities (OTA's) in late May.
Super Bowl LI winning quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta, and Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wilke were four of the other nominees for this year's George Halas Award.