A right shoulder injury to Olney (MD) Our Lady Good Counsel quarterback Andres Castillo zapped most of 6-foot-0 senior’s 2015 season, ruining the momentum he created in 2014. That turned out to be fortunate for the University of Wisconsin.
Without any other major opportunities coming his way, Castillo announced Wednesday night that he was accepting a preferred walk-on offer in Wisconsin’s 2016 class.
“It’s huge, especially with everything I have gone through with the injury and having nobody offer me a scholarship,” Castillo told BadgerNation. “I am really grateful for the opportunity Coach Chryst and the entire staff has given me. I’m going to work hard and take advantage of everything that has been given to me.”
Wisconsin entered the picture roughly a month after Castillo’s senior season ended, as the staff was intrigued by his ability to work in a pro-style offense and also bring dual-threat capabilities. The Badgers officially offered the 195-pounder a walk-on opportunity last week, the only FBS school out of his four preferred walk-on offers.
“Everyone talks about the rich tradition of Wisconsin with the walk-ons,” said Castillo, who runs a 4.74 40-yard dash. “So many walk-ons have gone there and had success. I’ve read that the strength and conditioning program is one of the best in the country. I think I can play D-1, and Wisconsin presents the best opportunity for me to succeed.”
After going 101-for-147 (68.7 percent) for 1,483 yards and 14 touchdowns his junior season, not to mention rushing 26 times for 277 yards and five touchdowns, Castillo’s numbers took a big dip when he struggled with his health through 10 games.
“I didn’t follow up a good junior season with an even better senior season, so it was hard,” said Castillo. “The injury lingered throughout the season, so I wasn’t consistently playing and I didn’t have much film my senior season.”
Castillo comes from a strong football family. His brother, Greg Castillo, was a defensive back who started seven games over a four-year span for Iowa from 2009-12, but the football backbone of the family was their dad, Juan, who is a 21-year N.F.L. coaching veteran currently with the Baltimore Ravens.
“It all started with him,” said Castillo. “That’s the foundation of the entire football tree of my family. I was born to play football.”
Castillo will sign on Wednesday without having seen the Wisconsin program first hand, as he will take his official visit to the program later in February.
“I trust the track record,” Castillo joked.