The two-way lineman from Muskego was all set to hit the summer camp circuit until a sprained ankle sent him to the sidelines, forcing him to watch other talented Wisconsin high school athletes pick up scholarships instead of him.
But getting the reassurances from Offensive Line Coach Bob Bostad that all was not lost, Costigan knew what he needed to do to catch the eyes of the Wisconsin coaching staff.
"He just stressed that it just delays the process and he'll still be able to watch me in high school," Costigan told Badger Nation Wednesday. "He said I still would have a chance to be a Badger."
That served as all the motivation Costigan would need to make an impact on the coaching staff. It didn't matter that his high school team finished with a 1-8 record, as Costigan's play protected the quarterback, allowing just one sack in 145 pass attempts.
Invited to home games by Bostad, having Defensive Line Coach Charlie Partridge attended one of his home games and offered a gray shirt during his official visit, Costigan was able to realize his dream of playing for Wisconsin.
"It was pretty sweet," Costigan said. "I thought after I sprained my ankle I had missed my chance. As things went along and things filled up, I didn't think I would be a Badger. When Coach Bielema sprung it on me, it was the best feeling ever."
Costigan, who chose the Badgers over offers from Ball State and Eastern Michigan, will enroll at the University of Wisconsin starting in January 2011 and be on full scholarship when he arrives. Costigan will be eligible to participate in spring football that season without losing a year of eligibility.
"It's like I am in the class of 2011," Costigan said. "It stinks waiting the entire year, but there are worse things. I am not sure what I am going to do yet. If I go to Madison, I'll have to pay for a semester and it will take me 5.5 years to earn a four-year degree. I might just get a part time job."
A natural lineman with good footwork that combines strength with agility, Costigan (6-foot-5 and 270 pounds) feels that the combo of being a big guy with speed is his best trait helps him react to opposing players. Combine that with his potential and Costigan was a natural fit into the mold of a Wisconsin lineman.
"I still look pretty lean and they (UW coaches) feel I can add more weight without losing any of my speed," Costigan said. "Coach Bo feels I can play guard and pull, and Coach Partridge feels I can do a lot of things well."
Costigan was awarded All-Area and All-Conference as a defensive end his junior year, but was moved to tackle because of lack of depth and to try and simplify things in Muskego's platoon system. Where he plays for UW after the season is still up in the air, as Costigan was told by the coaches that they can see him playing six different positions on the offensive line.
"I'll have to wait and see what happens," Costigan said. "I feel that compared to a lot of freshman coming in, my strength will benefit me. I just have to be sure I am in the best possible football shape overall during the next year."