"On the Spot" with OG David DeCastro [#52]

One of the great pleasures of covering Stanford Football is having the chance to meet so many of the fine young student-athletes and help our readers get to know them. From a football standpoint, young David DeCastro's continued accelerated development, along with the veteran presence of rising Matt Kopa at right tackle should be key to the continuation of our effective running game in 2009.

"On the Spot" with OG David DeCastro [#52]

The Bootleg's "Emeritus" spent a few minutes with six-foot, five-inch, 310-pound redshirt freshman offensive guard David DeCastro immediately following Tuesday's morning practice (Fall Practice #2). The second-year player from Bellevue, Wash., who was rated Scout's #3 center in 2007, is currently slated to see his first college football action in a few weeks as the Cardinal's starting right guard and was singled out Monday by Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh in his post-practice comments when asked who was "looking good".

On-Field Interview on August 11, 2009

The Bootleg: We are here with second-year offensive lineman David DeCastro. David you are being thrust into the limelight pretty early in your Stanford career. Was that your expectation? The staff has always expressed a lot of confidence in you.

David DeCastro: I just do what I can and don't really think about it, just try to play my game and let the coaches decide.

TB: Can you talk about the change in how you feel, both physically and and with regard to the mechanics of your position, as compared to this time last year when you were a true freshman?

DD: It is amazing. I didn't know how to pass-block one bit! Just throwing my head into everything. At Bellevue, we just ran the ball all of the time. And now I have the playbook as well, now that I know the playbook, it's easy. You don't have to think about it - that's the biggest thing, not having to think about what the play is. You just know the play and you go out and run it. You worry about the fundamentals and the physical aspects of it. 

TB: What has been the most difficult thing for you to pick up as far as technique?

DD: Still doing the pass-blocking. Run-blocking, it's okay, you can kind of get away with it.

TB: Kinda helps to have Toby (Gerhart), doesn't it?

DD: [Smiling like a kid in a candy shop] Yeah, that's pretty sweet, Toby's amazing! But yeah, pass-blocking, I have a ways to go.

TB: If you were scouting yourself, what would be some of the attributes you would ascribe to yourself?

DD: A lot of them I brought from high school. Well-disciplined run-blocking, the ability to stay low - that's one thing I notice, I guess. I was a big guy in an offense that was meant for smaller guys, I had to learn to use my body in a different way instead of just getting away with pure physical strength. I think that helps a lot in college.

TB: Was it hard to sit out last year as a freshman?

DD: You know, it wasn't necessarily hard. I just adapted. I didn't like it, I didn't dislike it. I guess I was pretty indifferent towards it. It wasn't too bad. I just wanted to get the "travel food"! Andrew Luck and I, we just got as much food as we could on the travel days!

TB: Have you noticed any change in the chemistry of the offensive line group, with "Fletch" and Benny Muth now graduated? Obviously you have just started fall camp...is there a difference in approach or attitude?

DD: But we've still got (Chris) Marinelli and he keeps us on each other - he's a great guy! He's really good, the same kind of mentality. The o-line is a great group of guys, they work well together, smart as well.

TB: Coach Harbaugh has mentioned some depth concerns over time. Are there some young guys who are looking good in your initial impressions.

DD: (Kevin) Danser, (Khalil) Wilkes are looking good. (Jacob) Gowan wasn't here in the summer so he will have to catch up on the offense. But yeah, they are doin' well. 

TB:  Now you have only done it in practice to this point, but what is it like going up against 300-pound defensive linemen - you didn't have to face too many of those in high school, right?

DD: No, it is a lot different, but the offense is also so different as well. It is designed to help you out. You are not meant to "kill" the guy across from you. You are tryin' to kill him of course, but if you just do your job and let the running back make the play, and you don't let him get tackled, that works.

TB: In our blocking schemes, will you have many chances to be a pulling guard?

DD: Not like high school. It is a LOT different.

TB: Is the coaching you have here different than you had in high school - and are you getting coaching from the veterans as well....

DD: Yeah, the coaches are great. High school was pretty much the same thing, they really knew what they were talking about as well.

TB: We don't want to ruffle the feathers of your old high school coaches, right?

DD: No, definitely not. They were great in high school. They taught me a lot.

TB: You are now in the unusual position, as a redshirt freshman, to get some serious playing time, would you say you are meeting or even exceeding your own personal goals?

DD:  I just do what I do. I don't really set expectations. I just do what I can, do it with no regrets, give as much effort as I can. I'l just let everything else fall into place.         

TB: Your parents, are they maybe booking a few more flight this fall, earning some frequent flier miles on Alaska Airlines?

DD: Yes, they'll come down for some games! There are some good fares.

TB: You will finally get to go live against the WSU Cougars on September 5. Good luck!

DD: Thanks. That will be good!

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