As Webb City (Mo.) offensive lineman Trystan Castillo drove south from Ames with his mother on Sunday, the two came to a realization in his recruitment.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Castillo, who is regarded as the No. 1 guard in Missouri and as the No. 40 overall guard in the 2016 class, has been hearing of late from a variety of schools. Yet three have stood out.
“We were just kind of talking and it’s like, the three schools I’m really talking about are Iowa State, Minnesota and Missouri, so we were like, ‘I don’t really know why I want to go to all these other schools,’” Castillo said. “They might have offered, but they haven’t been there since the beginning, you know what I mean? We kind of decided those are going to be the three schools for sure.”
Castillo, who is a soft verbal with Missouri but has looked around since the retirement of Gary Pinkel, visited Minnesota the weekend of Dec. 5 and stopped at Iowa State this past weekend. Following the conversation with his mother Sunday, the prized guard has now moved his Missouri trip to the coming weekend (Jan. 22-24) with a decision to come next week on Wednesday (Jan. 27).
Arkansas and Clemson have both expressed interest in stopping in to see Castillo in the coming days, though he’s pretty certain his list won’t grow past his three finalists.
“I don’t feel like I’m going to be looking at those schools any longer,” Castillo said. “I’m not 100 percent sure, but at this point I kind of have a final three.”
Castillo, who the Cyclones want as a center, has become a priority for Iowa State as it works to finish off the 2016 class in the next two weeks. The Cyclones were due in to see Castillo on Wednesday with assistants Tom Manning and Alex Golesh while Missouri stopped in Tuesday and Minnesota is due in for the final time Thursday.
Ultimately, his final trip will be what matters most as it’ll complete the puzzle and finally allow him to compare all three schools side by side.
“Really, I’ve got a great relationship with all of the coaches,” Castillo said of his in-home visits this week. “What it kind of comes down to is the visit [to Missouri] and how the visit goes overall and the atmosphere. So these last couple of in-homes aren’t going to help persuade me to a certain decision.”
That trip will allow Castillo to compare the campuses and interactions with both coaches and players. That was one aspect that stood out in Ames.
“Kind of the message they sent to me, Coach Manning wants me there and Coach [Matt] Campbell expressed it to me as well,” Castillo said. “They kind of expressed they love the way I play with and they think I could be a definite difference-maker with the culture change there. That kind of excites me because I know what they did at Toledo they’re going to do it there. The only difference is they’re already a couple steps of ahead of where they were at Toledo [when they started].”
An Extra on Iowa State
(Castillo on his Iowa State trip) "The facilities, you think about it, last year they won three games and you look at their facilities and you’d think, ‘Wow, how did you guys only win three games when you’ve got all the power right here?’ You look at the coaching staff and now they have Coach Campbell’s staff up there and you can tell Iowa State is going to be really successful here in the years to come. That’s something I kind of took out of the visit there. The fan base and the atmosphere, the way they were explaining it and they showed the highlight films and I’m not even really watching the highlights, I’m watching the fans and how packed their stadium is."