MOBILE, Ala. — UCLA center Scott Quessenberry knows Josh Rosen about as well as anyone, as one of the star quarterback's best friends on the team and the guy who snapped him the ball the majority of the past few seasons for the Bruins.
And Quessenberry is down at the Senior Bowl this week trying to pave his own path to the NFL, but he can't help but get angry when he hears the negativity that gets pointed at Rosen. Reports have said that the quarterback — who could be the top overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft — is entitled, has character concerns, is not coachable, isn't liked by his teammates and other similar complaints.
Quessenberry is here to say that those criticisms just are flat out untrue.
"It just really irks me the way people talk about him," Quessenberry told PFW this week. "Whether they’re saying he has off-the-field issues — he has none — or that he’s too vocal about something he believes in. I don’t see that as a problem.
"Or whether his teammates don’t like him. That’s just not true. It’s absolutely, 100 percent not true. I don’t know where that started or frankly even where it came from."
Although Quessenberry admits he's biased because of his friendship with Rosen, he says that he feels confident that, to a man, his other Bruins teammates would back up that sentiment.
"Just from a personal standpoint, he’s a great human being," Quessenberry said. "This is a guy you like to hang out with off the field. And on the field, he is just sharp as a tack, knows football well and obviously can make all the throws and all the reads.
"He’s going to continue to grow as a leader. He’s going to be a terrific pro."
That word in theory should carry a lot of weight. Quessenberry was one of 30 players nationally nominated for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award, which is given to student-athletes who have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
(And to read more about him and his older brother, Houston Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry, and how Scott helped David in his remarkable return from lymphoma, please subscribe to the Pro Football Weekly NFL draft newsletter.)
Quessenberry missed all of the 2015 season, when Rosen started as a true freshman, but switched from guard to center and snapped to him for six games in 2016 before Rosen suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. They returned together as a battery in 2017 and worked together until Rosen's late-season concussion kept him out of the final two games.
But they're a pair, through thick and thin, Quessenberry said. He said Rosen "gave them a chance" to win almost every game because of his fearless style and that he "raised the bar" for his teammates because of his football knowledge and talent. Quessenberry said that Rosen had "overriding say" on most checks at the line and that the rest of the offensive players fell in line because they knew he was going to "put us in the best position possible on every play."
If asked to defend his character in NFL team interviews, Quessenberry said he'd have zero hesitation.
"I've got nothing but good things to say about Josh, and I'll say the same thing to any team that asks me about him," he said. "This is a guy you want to go into battle with."