Standing at 6’ 5”, and 300 pounds, Nebraska redshirted freshman defensive tackle Quentin Toailoa is one of the bigger guys on the team.
Quentin, more commonly known as Q, committed to Nebraska back in December 2007, after receiving offers from Oregon State, Arizona, and Fresno State.
Considered a three star prospect by Scout.com and Rivals.com, Quentin was regarded as one of the nation’s top 50 defensive tackles. Really, it should come as no surprise.
Quentin started his high school football career at Rialto high school in California, starting varsity defensive line as a sophomore.
During his sophomore season, Q racked up 23 tackles, 11 of those solos. In addition to those 23 tackles, he also recorded two sacks.
However, Rialto was not one of the better teams in the Citrus Belt League, winning only one game and losing nine.
Q transferred to Redlands East Valley the next season, an up and coming school that had several athletes heading to play college football.
Q had all of the tools to play college football, and Redlands East Valley coach Kurt Bruich recognized it right off the bat. Q made an immediate impact to the defensive line, almost tripling his tackles from his sophomore year.
He ended the season with 70 tackles and three sacks.
2008 was the biggest season for the Redlands East Valley Wildcats, and Q.
The Wildcats were regarded as one of the top schools in the area, and they didn’t disappoint.
The season opener against J.W. North proved that REV was going to be a dominant team.
Quentin started the game by leading REV in the haka, a dance that intimidates the opposing team. Boy did it sure intimidate them.
Quentin led the team past the 50 yard line, right into the opposing team's faces, and made the message clear; "we're here to take what's ours."
That game went down to the wire, and the final defensive stand from REV ended when Q laid a massive hit on the quarterback that sent his pass fly off target, and into the hands of fellow teammate Spencer Wells.
Q was interviewed that night on Fox Sports Network, and was deemed "The Mayor" by the reporter. The name has stuck ever since.
The Mayor led the haka before each and every game, intimidating the opposing teams no end.
REV had one of the top defenses in Southern California, anchored by the angry Samoan.
Q recorded a career high 92 tackles and three sacks that season, and although they lost to Corona Santiago in the semi-finals, REV cemented their status as one of the top football programs in Southern California.
During the season Quentin began taking official visits, and the thoughts of becoming a college football player were finally coming true.
After the thrashing of Rialto High School (REV won 61-0), I saw Quentin in the parking lot. This was rather strange, seeing as how players must ride the bus back with their team.
Q informed me that he was heading to Nebraska for his first official visit.
The following Monday I spoke with Quentin again and he described his first trip to Nebraska. “The thing that pushed me over the top was when I saw a small kid crying because his parents wanted to leave, with 30 seconds left on the clock. I had kids and adults asking me to sign the back of their tickets.“
Q officially committed to Coach Carl Pelini on December 20, but kept it quiet until Christmas morning when he surprised his family with a Cornhuskers t-shirt.
“It’s the right fit for me. I was waiting and waiting, and I just sat there one day thinking Nebraska is the right place for me. So why keep waiting?”
Toailoa was a solid commit from day one, claiming that there was no way he was backing out of his commitment. The trip he took back in October was the only actual visit he took to any college, let alone Nebraska.
He was almost a guaranteed commitment from the moment they offered him a scholarship. It only took Q one weekend to figure out that he wanted to play his college football in Lincoln.
Quentin redshirted in his first season as a Cornhusker to repair the labrums he tore back in high school. The surgeries were successful, and Quentin began spring ball focused on excelling at the defensive tackle position.
Because Q is such a versatile athlete (he runs a low 5.1 40 and has a bench max of 350 pounds), Nebraska coach Bo Pelini decided to experiment with Q in the offensive line.
Quentin isn’t a complete stranger to the offensive line—he did play there in his Junior All American years. While he certainly has the athleticism to play offensive line, Q is naturally a mean and aggressive defensive player.
During a game in his senior year of high school, Q scared a Rialto Carter center and quarterback so bad that they fumbled the snap nine times.
Quentin recalls that game: “I remember telling coach "I got this kid, just leave me here.”
REV went on to win that game 49-7, largely thanks part to Quentin’s terrifying nature. Who wouldn’t be scared of a 17-year-old bigger than most grown men?
While Quentin could line up on either position of the line, I am sure he will shine wherever he plays.
There will be many more stories to write about The Mayor. The sky is the limit for this phenomenal athlete.