"It was actually last Wednesday evening when I called Coach Dana Dimel," Robert Castaneda said. "My visit went really well. It gave me a chance to meet all of the coaches. I stayed overnight in a hotel and decided to walk around the downtown area and the people were all so friendly and welcoming to me. I've always liked Kansas State. I've done research on their football history. Coach Snyder is probably the greatest coach I've ever talked to. It's going to be a real honor to play for him.
"I'm excited to play for Coach Dickey, the offensive line coach. They liked how athletic I am for my size. The whole staff told me that they watched my tape and loved it. They said they were impressed with how well I move my feet for a big guy."
In his first year as a full starter for the Round Rock Dragons in the Texas capital city area, Castaneda (6-foot-5, 304-pounds) played "the blind side" at left tackle. His team made it to the first round of the Texas 5A playoffs and Castaneda brought home All-District (TX 16/5A) at offensive line.
"While I did play quite a bit as a sophomore," explained Castaneda, "I was switched in and out a lot. This year I was more consistent and played the way I know how to play. I was came off the ball lower and quicker. I've been doing well in the off-season at camps and combines. At the Nike SPARQ combine in Houston I had the highest score of any offensive lineman in the country and was named to the All-Combine team."
Castaneda ran a 5.38 40-yard dash, a 4.78 Shuttle, a 41.0' power ball toss, and a 25.2" vertical jump for a 91.14 SPARQ Rating. He's caught the attention of many others so it's a good thing Kansas State began expressing interest in Castaneda as a freshman.
"I have an offer from Texas Tech," said Castaneda. "Recently, I talked to Baylor and they've very interested. Things have picked up for me considerably, but I'm confident in my decision to commit to Kansas State. It's a great fit for me. I'm talking with my dad about going back [to Manhattan] for a spring practice and the spring game in April."
Castaneda will next compete in the Nike Football Training Camp in Dallas on April 7th at Allen High School. He said he wants to go up against the best competition out there and prove the Wildcats are getting one of the best offensive lineman in the class of 2014.