Remember how we're always talking about Greg Schiano's college connections? We have another one for you: Jonathan Casillas was recruited by him in college, as he told ProFootballZone.com, but the linebacker instead elected to play for Wisconsin instead. The Bucs signed Casillas this offseason to a one-year, $1.4 million contract after he spent four years with the New Orleans Saints. Casillas is expected to compete with Dekoda Watson for the starting strongside linebacker spot.
Being from New Jersey, were you recruited by Greg Schiano coming out of high school?
Yeah he did. It's pretty ironic. I've known Schiano since I was 18 and you know now that I'm 25. It's a cool little story.
"Coming out of college before Schiano was there (Tampa Bay), Rahim [sic] Morris was the head coach. They were really heavy on me because I went undrafted. It ended up being between New Orleans and Tampa and I ended up picking New Orleans of course and won a Super Bowl my first year. You know I don't regret the decision, it's just funny how I ended up back in Tampa with the guy that recruited me out of high school and the team that wanted me when I came out of college. It's a funny little story and I'm happy to be where I'm at now. I'm happy to be a Buccaneer."
This isn't all that new: Schiano talked about recruiting Mike Glennon in college, while the Bucs added two West Virginia players in the draft last year -- a team Schiano was never able to beat in college. But Schiano's apparent infatuation with players who spurned or beat him in college isn't a bad thing, as long as those players add something to the team. And, obviously, the front office liked Casillas as well, as evidenced by the apparent interest they showed when he entered the league as an undrafted free agent.
Still, it's an interesting bit of information.