McQ Times Two....

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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Here is a story on McQuistan and his brother...

Hard work pays off for Pat & Paul

By Rachel Beck, Lebanon Express writer

McQuistan brothers earned their shot at glory

High school coaches are constantly looking for ways to motivate their athletes to work hard. In Lebanon, coaches now have the perfect homegrown example of how diligence can pay off. Correction: Two examples.

Twin brothers Paul and Pat McQuistan became instant heroes to legions of fans when they were drafted into the NFL last month. Though they have yet to play one minute of a professional game, their identical fiery hair and imposing physiques have set them apart from other draftees. But before they ever caught the eye of an NFL scout, they were brothers from Lebanon who impressed their coaches with their work ethic and attitude.

Playing offensive and defensive line for Lebanon High School, the brothers didn't always receive as much public recognition as the team quarterbacks, rushers and receivers. Looking back at Lebanon Express newspapers during their high school tenure, it's rare to find their names in print. But many knew that the twins were athletically gifted.

Rob Allen was working as an assistant coach when the McQuistans were playing for LHS. He remembers two boys who were hard workers on and off the field and who motivated those around them.

“They moved a lot of teammates up a level because of their work ethic and the desire to win they had,” Allen said. “They were good-spirited, good citizens who knew how to enjoy life and be respectful.”

That last description is at odds with the way the brothers have been depicted in draft reports. Both Paul and Pat have been described as being “nasty,” especially tough and aggressive on the field. It's a quality that fans love and opponents fear. Add nastiness to size, and the combination is intimidating - which is exactly what a lineman should be.

The twins have always been formidable on the gridiron. Even in high school, when they were puny compared to their current stature, they were a fearsome sight. When the McQuistans signed letters of intent to play for Weber State University, then-LHS head coach Brad Bauer predicted that the twins would grow in size and ability.

“They were good high school players, but I think they'll be better college players,” he said at the time. “I had a couple of 6-foot-5, 220 pound tackles - Weber will have some 6-foot-7, 300 pound tackles.”

Pretty close. On the Weber State roster, the twins were officially listed at 6-foot-6, 315 pounds.

That Pat's name even appeared on the Weber State roster is something of an accomplishment. Though the brothers were recruited out of high school and signed letters of intent with Weber State, after graduation Pat was declared ineligible for NCAA competition because he lacked a single English credit. Unable to play alongside Paul, Pat headed to Edmonds Community College in Washington, and replaced football with baseball.

But distance proved to be only a small obstacle between the brothers. Pat managed to attend many of Paul's games. He also went to a football banquet at Weber State, where he realized he didn't want to be done with the game just yet. Pat started attending Weber State in 2003 and played football there in ‘04 and ‘05.

Though they were reunited, the brothers still had to endure dismal seasons and departmental strife. The coaching staff that recruited the brothers fell apart and was dismissed. In 2005, Paul's fifth year, coach Ron McBride took over the team.

McBride knew he had something special with the McQuistans. He first laid eyes on the twins while visiting Weber State. At the time, McBride was coaching at the University of Kentucky and had no idea that he would soon be employed in Utah. He happened upon Paul and Pat working out in the weight room, and the sight of the two matching linemen made an impression on McBride.

“I said, ‘Jeez, that's a couple of good-looking kids,'” McBride remembered.

When he met the brothers after Weber State hired him, McBride was impressed again, this time by the twins' work ethic.

“They like to play the game,” he said. “They like to do all the things that good football players do.”

As for their NFL prospects, McBride said that Paul has more game maturity and understanding.

“They'll both definitely play,” McBride said. “Paul has a chance to be an impact sooner than Pat because he has more experience.”

In Paul's final year at Weber, his first games of the season were “off the charts,” according to McBride. But then Paul suffered an injury that affected his next four games. That was when Pat started stepping up his play.

At the close of the season, Paul was selected to play in the East-West Shriners game. That, said McBride, broke him through.

“People saw Paul could compete against any caliber player,” he said. “All of a sudden they put him against good people and he held more than his own.”

McBride thinks that Paul and Pat will both have long careers in the league. What McBride doesn't believe is that the NFL will change the McQuistans personally. Like Allen, McBride knows the twins as hardworking, team-oriented guys.

“They got the opportunity to do things most kids dream about and they made it a reality for themselves by the way they went about their business.”

They'll have to keep their work ethic intact if they want to make a mark on the NFL. Both have already made an impression on NFL fans by virtue of their appearance and their unique background, though that wasn't the case initially.

Paul's name started making appearances on pre-draft reports, but it wasn't until he was chosen in the third round by the Oakland Raiders that his name really began to circulate. When Pat was drafted in a surprising move by the Dallas Cowboys, it led to greater popularity for the McQuistans - and greater confusion for a lot of other people. Fans and even some media didn't know that there were not one but two McQuistan linemen. Misinformation was so rampant after the draft that the McQuistan family released a three-page biography of the twins to newspapers.

Included in that information was the fact that Paul and Pat are mirror twins. Mirror twins are twins that came very close to being one instead of two, which may explain the close bond between Paul and Pat. But family is obviously important to the McQuistan clan, and Paul and Pat are reflections of the rest of their family as well as each other.

Mom Terrie McQuistan raised seven children, with Paul and Pat being the youngest. Most of the family was together during draft weekend to anticipate and celebrate. One sibling who wasn't there was brother David McQuistan, an Airman who is in Iraq. But even that distance didn't fracture the family: David was talking to Pat on the phone when Pat's name was called.

The McQuistan roots in the Lebanon area stretch way back. Paul and Pat's grew up working on the ranch of Tony Wahl, their uncle. Their grandfather, Burr Fancher, helped establish the Land Lab at what was then known as Lebanon Union High School.

The McQuistan twins are a long way from the fields now.

Paul joins a team that has a legacy of being tough, rowdy and nasty. Raider fans across the country are ecstatic that Paul will be wearing silver and black. They view him as a sign of a return to the glory days. Not long after being drafted, a Paul McQuistan fan club was launched online. Numerous Raider weblogs hosted heated discussions of Paul's talent and what his nickname should be. Popular suggestions include Shrek, after the animated, kind-hearted ogre with a brogue, and McNasty. There was even a Paul McQuistan haiku contest (Sample entry: Flame headed field ox/Plowing the painted green turf/Making grown men cry). All this, and he hasn't even made the roster.

Pat's new team, the Dallas Cowboys, also has a reputation for being a bit nasty. The team recently signed Terrell Owens, a notoriously talented and notoriously controversial receiver. Still, Pat McQuistan has managed to garner some attention. He's been profiled on the team's official website, and although he may not be looking at playing time in 2006, his intimidating appearance has already won over fans.

Thanks to an increasing number of admirers, the twins should find that the NFL is at least a little bit like Lebanon. When they made the move from LHS to Weber State, the brothers thanked their fans.

“The support we had here, we'll take that with us,” Paul said. “That support will always be here.”

It will be. Just a little farther away.
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