AUSTIN, Texas -- One of the top offensive linemen in the Central Texas area is Round Rock's Robert Castaneda, a 6'5, 315-pounder who has been committed to the Kansas State Wildcats since early March after visiting Manhattan for a Junior Day.
"Right now I am committed and that's where I've decided to go, but like I told them, I'm going to stay open and keep the recruiting options to be able to search around," Casteneda told SB Nation Recruiting at the Round Rock SQT, where he was out supporting his teammates.
One of those options is Texas Tech, a school that continues to stay in contact with the big three-star prospect and Castaneda has been reciprocating the interest, tentatively planning a trip out to Lubbock with teammate Keyon Dilosa, a fellow 2014 prospect who also holds an offer from the Red Raiders. He cited the "fire and energy" of the new coaching out at Texas Tech as significant appeals.
"It's a great team to be around and I've already taken two visits up there. It's a pretty cool sight to see there in terms of the college," he said.
As with many prospects, the new Red Raider uniforms are also appealing. Castaneda called them "pretty nasty" and said that he got to try them on during one of his visits.
Less of an option now is Baylor, which has fallen out of contact in recent weeks, which didn't play particularly well with Castaneda, and just picked up a pledge from Houston (Texas) Clear Lake offensive lineman Blake Blackmar over the weekend, a decision that may officially remove Castaneda from consideration by the Bears.
He'll also visit a Texas A&M camp and was invited to a Texas camp, which he sounded less likely to attend, though he did say he would give the 'Horns a chance.
While some schools have no-visit policies and others opt merely to strongly suggest that prospects don't visit other schools, the Wildcats have taken a little bit of a different approach with the Round Rock product.
"They said that they weren't going to pressure me -- that's not what type of school they are," he said "They want me to want to go there and go where my hearts wants to be."
The Junior Day visit was enough to convince Castaneda to give his pledge.
"They were my first offer and it was actually my first experience with a big D1 school. I liked everything about it -- their coaches really loved me and I got to visit the town. It was a really nice town with a lot of nice people."
Head coach Bill Snyder is more than just the head coach at Kansas State -- he's the dominant and defining figure for the program, and Casteneda cited his knowledge of the game as something that appealed to him greatly when he made his decision, adding that it will be an honor to play for him.
The Kansas State coaches may not pressure Castaneda about keeping his commitment or keep him from visiting other schools, but the Wildcats appear to be facing a serious battle with Texas Tech for his services.
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