Native Montana product hopes to bring rugged style to Arizona
By. Kaci Demarest, Arizona Hotshots Content Manager
One of the main goals of The Alliance is to give players a second chance or a shot at playing professional football for the first time. For Arizona Hotshots quarterback Quinn McQueary, it’s the chance he was always looking for.
McQueary played his collegiate days at Montana State University and Montana Tech. Being in a rural area, he never drew much attention to himself, a challenge he faced in collegiate recruiting process as well.
“Does he have the skill set? Absolutely, Arizona Hotshots Head Coach Rick Neuheisel said following the team’s selection of McQueary. “Does he have the attitude? Absolutely.”
He’d had conversations with other schools, but Montana State and the University of Montana were his only serious offers. He opted to take his chances as a bobcat at MSU, and ultimately transferred to Montana Tech where he was a two-year starter. He said he was drawn to the school because he had older cousins that had gone through ahead of him.
After he finished playing in college, he hit a wall. McQueary was looking for the next opportunity, whether it be in the Canadian football league or even giving an arena football league a shot.
Enter the Alliance.
“I thought if I got one chance I’d be able to do it,” McQueary said. “The Alliance is just really nice for guys who were overlooked or just didn’t have the right fit in the NFL itself.”
Prior to the AAF Pick or Protect Quarterback draft, McQueary was sure he’d be headed to Utah when the rosters materialized. From Arizona’s side, they liked how McQueary handed the ball, and when he was still available in the third round, they knew they wanted to add the rugged Montana cowboy to their roster.
“He was intriguing to us coming from a small school,” Arizona Hotshots General Manager Phil Savage. “He’s completely overlooked, he’s a diamond in the rough.”
McQueary said he’s excited for the challenge of coming out to Arizona because playing football in Montana with his family close by is the definition of his comfort zone.
“You get this homebody feel when you’re up here in Montana and it’s tough because you don’t really want to leave,” McQueary said.
While he has a new shot at pursuing a professional football career, he thought he’d wind up on a different path.
“It was what we grew up doing considering both sides of the family grew up on ranches.”
In addition to growing up playing football and basketball, McQueary was a champion junior breakaway rodeo roper.
Rodeo provided him another outlet, but it also fueled his thirst for competition, something that’ll carry over when he takes the field for the Hotshots this season.
“You’re trying to win every time given that and having parents that push you day in and day out to go out and practice and become better,” McQueary said.