SMU landed its third commitment of the day when Rockwall (Texas) wide receiver Xavier Castille committed at the end of his official visit. Castille said SMU felt like it’s where he belongs, so he didn’t hesitate to commit.
“I could just feel that this was the right place to be. It felt like home,” Castille said. “It’s close to home; the coaching staff here is unbelievable. I know we’re going to do big things here next year. Its time to rebuild and make things happen.”
Castille said being close to home wasn’t a big factor in his decision, but he said he likes that he will be just half an hour from his hometown.
“It’s good to be close to home, but it wouldn’t have determined a college for me. I just needed to go wherever I felt was best for me,” he said.
SMU offered Castille a few days after Chad Morris became head coach. Castille kept in close contact with wide receivers coach Justin Stepp during his recruitment and developed a strong relationship with him.
“He’s the wide receivers coach, so me and him get along real well. He’s really cool,” Castille said.
On his official visit, Castille met some of the other SMU commits, took in SMU basketball’s blowout win over Houston at Moody and ate dinner with the group at Ocean Prime. He enjoyed it all so much he couldn’t pick a favorite moment.
“It was cool hanging out with all the guys and being able to get around campus and see what life’s like at SMU,” Castille said. “I got a really good experience of what it’s like to be at SMU. It was all a fun weekend. But I liked eating with everybody and meeting everybody and feeling like a family.”
Despite SMU’s 1-11 season in 2014, Castille could sense that the program is about to get better, and fast.
“You could feel when things are going to get better, and I want to be a part of something that’s rebuilding and turn this thing around,” Castille said.
Castille brings another explosive skill set to SMU’s offense. Scout.com Midlands recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks sounded off on his abilities.
“Castille can be a nightmare in the open field for defenders,” Brooks said. “He’s very athletic laterally with enough straight-line speed to be a home-run threat in the right situation. He’s a polished route-runner who has been a versatile playmaker for Rockwall…Castille is very solidly built and is stronger than your average slot receiver/gadget back athlete type.”
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Castille officially visited Oklahoma State on Jan. 17 and planned a visit to Washington on Jan. 30, but he said he will not take it. Some of Castille’s other offers included Tulsa, UTEP, Memphis, Houston, Nevada.
Castille is Scout’s 88th-ranked receiver (17th-ranked in Texas) and ran a 4.43 verified 40-yard dash. He caught 90 passes for 1,606 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2014, while he rushed 63 times for 632 yards and seven scores.
Castille has one message for the SMU faithful.
“It’s time for a change.”