Caston, out of San Francisco (Calif.) Riordan, certainly has all the tools, and he definitely looks the part, cutting an impressive figure. Is he a Pac-12-level linebacker? On Saturday at California’s one-day camp, he showed good physicality, but he may be still a step slow, and a bit stiff. What’s not in question, though, is his work ethic, and the edge with which he plays.
“In the beginning, it was a little sluggish. There were a little over 300 people here. I came out, did the 40 and the pro agility, and right out of the gate, I felt energized and got right into it,” Caston said. “Coaches said I did great. I play physical, and that’s what they love here with the linebackers. They told me to stay low, explode off the ball, re-direct the running back, stay on his inside hip.”
Last season, Caston tallied 64 total tackles, including a team-best 7.0 tackles for loss, with 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hurries. He also added one interception, which he returned for 24 yards, one pass deflection and two forced fumbles.
Caston has no offers, but “a lot of interest.” So far, he’s has talked with the Bears, Nevada, San Jose State, Washington, Arizona State, Sacramento State, UC Davis and Oregon, where Caston went on Sunday for the Eugene The Opening Regional.
“I went to the San Lorenzo Opening, and I was a top three linebacker, and they chose Caleb [Kelly] and Camilo [Eifler], the top two linebackers,” Caston said. “To be honest, I felt great being a top-three linebacker at that camp.”
Coming in third behind Kelly – a five-star prospect and the No. 1 outside linebacker in the 2016 class – and Eifler – a four-star prospect and the No. 10 outside linebacker in the nation – wasn’t that much of a let-down for Caston.
“Playing between a five-star and a four-star is ridiculous,” said Caston, an outside linebacker by trade who played MIKE during of the 7-on-7 portion of the Regional. “My right side, ‘OK, I’ve got a five-star over there,’ and my left side, ‘I’ve got a four-star,’ and me, I don’t have any stars. At first, I was nervous, but I started moving around, getting to know them, and they’re great players.”
At the moment, Caston – who stands at a well-muscled 5-foot-11, 215 pounds – has two stars, but came out of that event confident that he could play with the best.
“I was close, but coming behind those two, it’s kind of a relief,” Caston said.
Caston’s dream school is a bit of a complicated knot. He was born and raised in Mississippi, and he said he has thoughts of going back home to Mississippi State or Ole Miss, but much of his youth has been spent in the Bay Area.
“South versus West, I don’t know; it’s hard,” Caston said.
As long as one school wants him to play for them, he’d be thrilled.
“That’s my wish,” he said.