The Kansas State Wildcats are building a solid 2014 recruiting class that is currently among the top 25 classes in the nation with four commits. One of those commits is three-star Round Rock star Robert Castaneda, who is ranked by the 247Composite as the 60th best guard in the nation and 178th in the state of Texas. Castaneda is still very much committed to Kansas State, but the Texas Tech Red Raiders are actively trying to flip the in-state prospect. Those two Big 12 squad comprise the only two offers for Castaneda.
Each week, we will run out a new feature where we will break down the film of a committed prospect and shed some light on his ability. Castaneda gets the honors this week, and he is one of Kansas State’s two offensive line recruits in the 2014 class. The other is high-end three-star center Dalton Risner, who is a 6’4″, 295 pound standout from Wiggins, Colorado and one of the top five center recruits in the nation overall.
If you think Risner has good size, then wait ’till you check out Castaneda’s frame. He is 6’5.5″ and 305 pounds, per 247Sports. He also has a forty time clocked in at 5.19. Although he isn’t quick off the snap, Castaneda has incredible strength and showed off that strength as the top OL at the Nike SPARQ. Even though he starts at left tackle for Round Rock, Castaneda would be a poor fit at LT and would struggle against edge rushers. His strength plays best at guard, and he has the ability to pull and is at his best as a run blocker. That’s where his strength and run blocking would fit best, but it should also be noted that the fact that Castaneda plays at left tackle means that his pass protection ability at guard will be solid.
Robert Castaneda picked up some nice in-state interest from schools like Texas Tech and Baylor, but he chose the Big 12 squad up north due to his connection with the coaching staff. Castaneda has spoken highly of head coach Bill Snyder, and Kansas State is getting a solid guard with excellent strength and underrated raw talent. He was just starting to see his recruiting stock accelerate before choosing Kansas State, and that’s interesting to note because uncommitted prospects almost always receive more press than committed players.
It’s telling that Texas Tech made a last-ditch effort to get this K-State pledge by offering Castaneda on the day he committed, and it’s also telling that the Red Raiders are still trying to nab him. When you turn up the tape on Castaneda, his raw strength and run blocking ability (as well as size) makes you wonder how he can play at a high level at left tackle, which won’t be his natural position in college. I really like Castaneda, and he was definitely a solid pick-up for the Wildcats, even if he is only rated as a low-end three-star prospect. Especially when it comes to players who project to the interior of the offensive line, stars don’t matter as much.