Q&A with Greg Castillo

Aug. 7, 2012

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior defensive back Greg Castillo has played in 30 games in his Hawkeye career and is expected to play a key part of the UI secondary in 2012. The Mount Laurel, N.J., native answered a handful of questions for hawkeyesports.com at Iowa’s annual media day Monday.

What emotions do you feel starting your final fall camp?
“It is kind of bittersweet because it is my final one. I am looking forward to enjoying it and having a good time with the defensive backs.”

Your father is the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. Do you talk football when you speak with him?
“We try not to, but somehow it always goes back to football. We do talk football, and we talk often. It is always nice. He is always trying to give me pointers. It works both ways, because I have been on defense longer than he has.”

He has been a coach with the Eagles since 1995. Is it safe to say you are an Eagles fan?
“Yes it is. That is very safe to say. I always try and follow them.”

What led you to Iowa City and the Hawkeye football program four years ago during the recruiting process?
“I remember I came up here for summer camps during 2006 and 2007, I believe. The atmosphere around here. Everyone was so nice and everyone was so kind. Back on the East Coast, people walk around the streets and people stick their nose up to you. Over here, random people say ‘hi’, ‘you’re welcome’, ‘good morning’, and ‘good afternoon.’ It felt like a family atmosphere with the players and the coaching staff. That is why I chose Iowa.”

Phil Parker, now the defensive coordinator, served as your position coach for your first four years. How is the transition going with new defensive backs coach Darrell Wilson?
“It has been great. Coach Wilson is doing a great job with the defensive backs. He is having a great time, and we are having a great time with him. Everything is going well.”

What facet of your game has improved the most since spring ball?
“I have improved a lot since spring ball, but I want to say the one area I have improved the most is really the bump-and-run technique, because we are playing it more often now. I am getting more reps at it. That is the one technique I have improved, as well as the rest of the defensive backs.”

You are part of deep defensive backfield. How do you feel about the group overall?
“I feel great about this group. We have young guys jumping in there, young guys in the film room eager to learn. That is already a good sign. Even the older guys, we can always learn more.”

As a senior, how do you try and help the younger defensive backs?
“Teaching them the defense and the little things I have experienced out on the field. I have been out there enough where I have some advice for them. If they have any questions, be available for them and answer them the best you can.”

You have been a member of four bowl teams, and three bowl victories, during your first four seasons. What is the goal for 2012?
“Our goal is to work hard and improve every day. That is all we can do right now.”

What are your individual goals for the upcoming season?
“Help the team win. That is my only goal. Help the team win somehow, some way. Any role you want me to play.”

What did you do during your free time over the summer?
“Relax, because you know we work hard around here. It is nice to take a seat and watch a little television. Kick your shoes back and relax.”