After spending the majority of last season hampered by a broken foot, a good session of summer conditioning brought him back to speed. But playing time would have to wait.
In the latter half of preseason practice, the injuries returned for Castillo and along with them came the "here we go again" feeling. Now, he was just anxious to know when he would be able to return to the field.
The good news came Monday.
Coach Bobby Bowden said the plan is to get Castillo ready for a start against Clemson on Saturday, as long as he continues to return to full strength. Castillo will replace backup John Frady, who has filled in at the starting position in Castillo's absence. Both players saw work against UAB.
"I like what we did last week. Frady got the first and last quarter and then Castillo got the interior quarters," Bowden said.
"You want to bring him back slowly."
Meeks continues to regain his health, still mildly suffering from a high-ankle sprain that has nagged him since the preseason.
Quarterback Chris Rix said he feels fine working with Frady and Meeks' back-up, Ron Lunford, but the return of the two starters and the experience they bring would make an improvement on the offense. "I confident behind Frady and Lucky (Lunford), but if we can get Castillo and Meeks back then all the better for me," Rix said.
Castillo, meanwhile, felt good to get back on the playing field.
"It was a little bit of an adjustment," he admitted.
"It was the first game that I have played since the bowl game and the first game I have played on my surgically repaired foot. Going against a great defense like we have everyday in practice makes the game seem so much slower than practice. Once we get done with them, the game kind of looks like the Matrix. Our defense flies to the football and they are incredible athletes so they help make it easier for us."