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Six to Remember: Anthony Castonzo

Anthony Castonzo (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Reid Oslin | Chronicle Staff

Published: May 12, 2011

Anthony Castonzo

Hawthorn Woods, Ill.

Major: Biochemistry

Notable Activities/Achievements: All-America offensive tackle and four-year starter for the Boston College football team; All-ACC First Team; three-time ACC All-Academic Team; “Eagle of the Year” as outstanding male athlete in graduating class; Scanlan Award as top football scholar-athlete; winner of National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and post-graduate study award; Rhodes Scholar nominee.

Post-Graduate Plans: Will play offensive tackle for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. After his pro football career, he plans to return to graduate school in biochemistry to study cancer research.

Overview: As the first true freshman in a decade to earn a starting assignment in BC’s offensive line, the 6-foot-7, 295-pound Castonzo started in every game during his varsity football career and was rated by experts as the top tackle prospect in the recent NFL draft. He was drafted in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts to help protect future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning from enemy tacklers. His academic accomplishments match his playing skills, as he was nominated by the University for a Rhodes Scholarship along with a host of other scholastic honors.

Q: What are your special memories of Boston College?

A lot of my memories are of the BC dining halls. I had to eat so much to maintain my weight. Seriously, in terms of class experiences, there were two different classes that really stick out in my mind – this past year I took Advanced Topics in Biochemistry with [Assistant Professor] Jianmin Gao. It was the most enjoyable experience I had in any class. You went there every day and it was always challenging, but it was always things that you could use in real life – like learning how to synthesize proteins basically from scratch. It was a lot of cutting-edge technology type things. It was very cool.

In my freshman year, I took a literature class. Literature is obviously not biochemistry or it’s not math – the two things I did. [Adjunct Associate Professor] John Anderson was the teacher and it was a blast. It involved an in-depth analysis of books. It really got my brain working and got me ready for college. It was phenomenal.

Q: How did you balance a challenging biochemistry major with the rigors of playing Division I college football?

I took a very strict approach to this in terms of when I was in class. I was 100 percent focused on taking notes and making sure that I completely understood everything that they were talking about in the class. I was then able to work on my football when it was football time and work on my classes when it was class time. I actually even managed to have some free time to hang out, too. It really was a great experience.

What will you miss most about Boston College?

Probably seeing all the familiar faces around, whether I am in the Corcoran Commons dining hall, or in the football locker room or in the lab. I’ll miss all the people I went through four years with. 

Q: Coming out of high school, some people figured you would have a hard time playing major college football — how did you prove them wrong?

I set my own goals and don’t listen to naysayers. Even my own high school coach told me I could only possibly play at the Division II or Division III level.  My dream was to play Division I football, so I took advantage of every avenue possible, every opportunity that was presented to me, to get to where I am at. It’s been a great ride.Being selected in the first round of the NFL draft was a great moment. It was the culmination of a lot.

Q: Have you started to think about your future NFL career?

I just got a call from [Colts’ QB] Peyton Manning and [center] Jeff Saturday welcoming me with open arms to the team and offering take me out to dinner and show me around Indianapolis. It makes you excited to get there and get started.

To read our next "Six to Remember" senior profile, musician Stephanie Fernandes, click here.