Ladies and gentlemen, Tariq Castro-Fields!
Hometown/High School: Upper Marlboro, MD (Riverdale Baptist)
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 183 pounds
Recruited By: Charles Huff
Starz ‘n Sheetz
Rankings: Four-star on 247, Rivals, and Scout; Three-star on ESPN
Offers: Alabama, Maryland, Boston College, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, NC State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin
In some sense of the word, you could say that Tariq Castro-Fields was a late bloomer. He didn’t really arrive on the recruiting season until after his junior season, but once college coaches saw his film, Castro-Fields blew up. The Maryland defensive back landed a number of impressive offers during the winter, spring, and summer before heading into his senior season, with one of those offers being from Penn State on February 27.
Castro-Fields’ recruitment came down to the wire, with the Nittany Lions and Maryland battling for his signature. He delayed his announcement all the way to National Signing Day, when he finally committed to Penn State.
Castro-Fields is now the fourth cornerback in the 2017 class, joining D.J. Brown, Lamont Wade, and Donovan Johnson. He’s the No. 33 ranked cornerback in the country, the No. 8 ranked prospect in Maryland, and the No. 294 ranked prospect overall in the country.
This is a big get for Penn State, and one that didn’t look so likely for many months. Castro-Fields always seemed like a Maryland lean, or a kid who would find his way into Alabama’s class. There’s no doubt that the 11-win Big Ten Championship season played a massive part here. As much as recruiting is selling a vision, I think we’ll continue to see how much easier it is to sell results.
Castro-Fields is a very good looking prospect, and probably a bit underrated. Think he’s a Top 200 guy just because there really isn’t any big deficiencies in his game. Great size and length for a corner or safety. Really, really strong in run support and looks comfortable playing zone, which is why he could excel at safety. Doesn’t have elite speed, but beyond that, it’s tough to find many holes in his game.
As for Castro-Fields’ fit on the team, he’ll provide versatility in the secondary. Similarly to Wade, he could play cornerback or safety, so it’ll just be a matter of figuring that out when he gets to campus. Could and probably will need a redshirt season just to get bigger, but Castro-Fields is definitely a player that should be making an impact in 2018 with the losses of Grant Haley, Christian Campbell, Marcus Allen, Troy Apke, and maybe even John Reid.
Welcome to Penn State, Tariq!