Castillo all about hustle

Last year, the San Diego Chargers made a similar play on draft day. They selected Igor Olshansky, a hulking defensive lineman who made a smooth transition into the NFL. On Sunday, they again picked an ox to man the other side of the line, Luis Castillo.

With a defensive emphasis in the first round to compliment their number three scoring offense, the Bolts tabbed Northwestern defensive lineman Luis Castillo as the option to play left defensive end and spell Jamal Williams in the middle.

His combine numbers were solid across the board. He posted an impressive 32 reps on the 225-bench press, ran his forties at 4.85 and 4.86, despite tipping the scales at 303-pounds, and his 34.5-inch vertical jump was second amongst tackles weighing 300-plus pounds.

The real attraction to Castillo is his non-stop motor and love for the game of football.

"The big thing about him is this guy plays hard all the time," said Assistant General Manager Buddy Nix. "He's not perfect, but he's a guy that can chase the ball down and he's willing every time. Not any dog in him. He plays every snap the same way."

While the Chargers love to combine talent with tenacity, they have shown that they are more than willing to take a player who has the will to succeed, even if the talent isn't all the way there yet.

Castillo has played across from the guard and the tackle during his career at Northwestern.

"Luis is a young man who we view as playing both as the defensive end in a 3-4 defense, as well as on the nose," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "He's got an element of competitiveness that fits what we're trying to do defensively."

Castillo's work ethic comes from his mom. Despite a third-grade education, his mom has prevailed through hard work and dedication. That has filtered down to the defensive lineman and it is something he takes with him along every path he travels.

Knowing that he may be asked to play multiple positions along the defensive line, Castillo is eager to put in all he has.

"I talked to coach and he said he'd give me the opportunity to play at both spots," he said. "I'm going to go in and whatever I'm asked to do, work my hardest and if it means being a nose, I'll do that. If it means getting out there on the end and maybe doing it on only run downs, or something like that, like I said, I'll do whatever."

An economics major with a business institutions minor, Castillo put his heart into the classroom as well.

He was a three-time Academic All-American at Northwestern, was a nominee for the National Football Foundation postgraduate scholarship as well as The Lott Trophy, an award that honors the Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year Award. IMPACT, defined by this award, stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

One mistake aside, Castillo is everything the Chargers look for in a player.

"This guy made 37 on the Wonderlic test," Nix added. "He's a bright young man that is a good player and a good fit for us."


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