Sept. 7, 2005
The new football season is here and David Castillo’s schedule is packed. He’s got interviews to do, captains meetings, footballs to sign, charity events to attend, and church — not to mention all of the football-related activities that go along with playing at Florida State.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the fact that the Texas-born, Florida-raised Castillo recently took the MCAT in hopes of attending medical school at the conclusion of his football career. He’s walking down the hallway to find out from FSU assistant media relations director Jeff Purinton what’s next on the agenda. And then he’s off again, back the way he came.
“Welcome to a day in the life of David Castillo,” Purinton said. It comes with the territory of playing at a glamorous university, being a leader in a successful program, possessing the wisdom of spending six seasons at FSU and having the reputation of being one of the nicest guys in the world.
“I guess those closest to me would say I’m fun but I stay in my boundaries,” Castillo said. “I have never had a sip of alcohol in my life, I don’t do drugs and I am not a big partier. However, I’m caring and I’m generous. If I have something you need, I am going to give it you. That’s just the way I’ve always been.”
Having a relationship with God, Castillo said, puts everything in perspective, especially when life gets tough and his schedule gets swamped. “I am a church boy and my heart is anywhere I can reach out to people,”
Castillo said. “I feel like my duty in life is to be a good example in the midst of the public and my teammates.
In the whole scheme of things, I matter just as much as the next person. I would rather worry more about other people’s feelings than my own.”
Castillo understands sacrifice. Raised in a Christian household, he was taught about love, forgiveness, acceptance and the importance of an education. He understands that in football the team comes first.
Although Castillo, who had aspirations to be a baseball star, didn’t start playing football until his freshman year in high school, he learned early on that his actions off the field played as important a role as his actions on the field.
“I am very fortunate to have two sets of parents that have always been supportive of me,” Castillo said.
“They are encouraging of my goals, especially academics.
They know football will not last forever, especially because of all my injuries, so they wanted to make sure I got my education and pursued my dream of becoming a doctor.”
For the first two years of his career Castillo had every reason to ask “Why me?” about those injuries. The beginning of his collegiate career wasn’t exactly what he had envisioned. In 2000 and 2001, injuries sidelined the Palm Beach, Fla., native, and forced him to take a medical redshirt both seasons before ever stepping on the field.
If there was ever a time to feel sorry for himself, it was then. But Castillo never asked himself why. Instead he decided it wasn’t about him and asked God to use him in other ways.
“Sure there were times I was frustrated and wanted to give up,” said the 6-foot-2 senior. “But one day I decided to quit feeling sorry for myself because this was the situation God handed me so I had to deal with it. I tried to put a positive spin on the situation the best I could and I waited my time. Those first two years gave me a chance to focus on my academics and church among other things.”
Then on Aug. 31, 2002, Castillo took the field against Virginia and has remained a fixture on the Florida State offense ever since, starting three consecutive seasons at center. His 23 starts are the most by any
Seminole on the team entering the 2005 season.
An All-ACC second-team selection in 2003, Castillo is considered by the coaches, trainers and players to be the toughest player on the team. Last year, Castillo started eight games while playing in 10 of the Seminoles’ 12 games during the season. In his eyes, how-ever, the season was unfulfilling considering he missed the opener against Miami and the West Virginia contest at the Gator Bowl because of injury.
“I have so many personal goals for this season,” he said. “The main thing is I want to stay healthy. In a ream world, I would never have to take a play off. I bleed garnet and gold and I always will. I want everything I do to better this team in hopes of winning a national championship, so I’m not leaving the field unless someone carries me off.”
Castillo is the leader now. It is his voice that is heard and steps that are being followed. He knows people are watching him. He knows kids are looking for a role model. He is aware of the lure of the spot-light. He also knows none of this is an easy task.
“I am willing to do whatever it takes to be the best and to help my team out,” Castillo said. “I want to succeed, I want us to succeed and I know God has told me to stay focused. I’m not going to let anything
get in the way.”
By Tamara Metcalfe
FSU Sports Information