Q&A: David DeCastro

Though Stanford's offensive line had to replace three starters this season, the unit hasn't missed a beat through the Cardinal's first six games, giving up only two sacks all season. One of the biggest reasons is guard David DeCastro, a likely early pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, who returned this season to anchor the line.

In a recent interview with The Bootleg, DeCastro shared his thoughts on the offensive line's success so far, and some insight on this weekend's matchup against Washington.

The Bootleg: Coming into the season, you had three new starters on the line, and there were a lot of questions about whether it would be up to the standard of last year. Do you guys think that this year's line is at the same level of last year's?

David DeCastro: You know, it's hard to judge. We're not really focused on comparing ourselves to last year's line, to be honest. We're just really trying to be the best line that we can, and just trying to get better every week. We're trying to be perfect. We're striving for perfection, to the point where we can be on the same page communicating and playing hard.

It seems like you guys have come together really well into a unit. What was that process like and how did you guys come together so well?

DD: Like I said, it's just coming every day, coming out here and playing together. It's not really like there's a special recipe for you. It's more just grinding with your teammates out here: learning each other, little things about each other, and being out here every day practicing and getting better.

What do you think is the toughest front seven you've faced so far this year?

DD: Wazzu played pretty well last week. Wazzu, UCLA—they were pretty strong up front.

Who do you think the toughest player you've gone against individually has been?

DD: So far, I'd say #61 from Washington State (Anthony Laurenzi) was pretty good. He was probably the best so far. And then #3 from UCLA, Cassius Marsh, was pretty good.

You guys have been sliding a little bit in the polls, and there have been a lot of questions about your strength of schedule. Do you guys pay attention to that at all?

DD: You see it on TV and stuff, but it's like it doesn't matter. If you focus on that, you'll get beaten. You have to focus on coming out every week and getting a win.

You're playing Washington this week, and they're the first ranked team you've played. Does that add any extra motivation? Is there anything special this week since you're going against one of the stronger teams in the conference?

DD: You want to always respect your opponent, no matter who they are. Washington's definitely a strong opponent, and we're going to be ready for them.

Can you talk a little bit about the three tight ends you play with—Ertz, Toilolo and Fleener? How well are they integrated into what you guys do?

DD: They're a really key weapon for us. They pose a lot of matchup problems for the defense, just because they can block and catch—you can spread them out wide or use them for a block. They're three pretty stellar athletes, some of the best tight ends in the country in my opinion—we have three of them on our team, and that's pretty impressive.

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