Q&A: Jeremy Castro

Jeremy Castro, who had a tough time getting admitted to UCLA, talks about the process that ended with him finally starting school this January...

Jeremy Castro talked to us about being enrolled and in the football program.

Q: Just describe the feeling of finally getting everything squared away and being enrolled in school.

A: It feels amazing to be back with the team. I mean, I was here in in the summer, but I had to take care of my academics, and now it feels amazing to be back with everyone and starting school, and be with my people here. It's really unexplainable how I feel, I'm just so happy.

Q: So you've been back in school since January 7th or so?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Walk me through the last few months for you. Obviously you were trying to stay in shape and everything, but walk me through what it's been like.

A: The last few months were pretty hectic, mostly due to the season I've missed. I spent most of my time in the weight room just trying to get stronger and better. I did tons of weights, sprinting, basically anything that would get me ready for spring ball at UCLA. I wanted to be ready to go as soon as I got back on campus, and I think I've put myself in position to be there.

Q: Where are you physically now, weight-wise and height-wise?

A: I'm 6'3, 245, and I just feel great. I just feel like, not unstoppable, but I just feel amazing.

Q: Obviously doing stuff on your own is a bit different than doing it in the program. How difficult was it sticking to a workout regimen during the time off last year?

A: It wasn't really difficult because I had my brother. He was like my strength and conditioning coach when I wasn't here, so it wasn't really that different. He told me what I needed to do, what I didn't need to do, what I could eat, what I should not eat. He was really like the heart of what I was doing when I wasn't here. So I feel really prepared.

Q: Obviously, the academics are the other side of the last few months. What was the process for getting the qualifying ACT score?

A: I mean, I was studying twelve hours per day, trying to get this test, trying to get it right, math, science and English. My mentor at Prodigy athletics helped me through the entire thing, he was really like a mentor to me throughout the process.

Q: How proud did you feel when you finally nailed the score that you needed?

A: I was amazed. I was just so so truly blessed. It was just so great to get it done and have it behind me, and it just sucked because it's something that should have been done a long time ago.

Q: You could have chosen to maybe go elsewhere when the academic stuff happened. Can you talk about the draw of UCLA and what made you stick with it?

A: I could have gone somewhere else super easy, but they didn't give up on me so I wasn't going to give up on them. This is my family and this is where I belong. This is home to me. I don't see myself anywhere else because this is my family. It's my desire to be here. It's a blessing.

Q: Where do the coaches see you slotting in at this point? Are they thinking defensive end or outside linebacker?

A: They said they're trying to play me at both, and whatever fits their scheme, that's what I'm going to do.

Q: Is there one that you're more comfortable with?

A: Honestly, I feel like I can be comfortable at any position. I can definitely get better at each position, but I feel like I can work hard wherever they need me. Wherever they need me, I feel like that's where I should be, so I'll work hard at whatever position. It doesn't matter to me.

Q: How does it feel to be back doing workouts with the guys and just being back in a team atmosphere?

A: It feels amazing. Everyone is just so comfortable that I feel like I never left.

Q: So everything's good to go for spring now—no more surprises?

A: No, sir. It's like a ball on the court now, it'll just keep rolling.

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