San Marcos junior offensive lineman Alexander Costilla may not play the flashiest position on offense when he suits up in purple on Friday nights for the San Marcos Rattlers, but his position is responsible for some of the highlight plays that you may only catch the tail end of.
By the time a running back is strutting into the end zone as hundreds of shutter clicks go off and the stadium is going wild, the work of Costilla and his fellow linemen had likely long been done.
Former Oklahoma line coach Gomer Jones called linemen the unsung heroes of the game, comparing them to infantrymen in war.
“As the generals reap the headlines in war, the backs reap the headlines in football,” Jones said. “Yet in their hearts, the generals and backs know that victory and the accolades came to them through the work of the footsoldiers and linemen.”
Rattlers head coach Mark Soto has echoed Jones’ sentiments as he introduced his offensive linemen as “The Pancake House” last season.
“We all know the electrifying runs or catches don’t happen without the proper protection or road paving,” Soto wrote.
Apparently you don’t have to convince Texas State head coach Everett Withers about the importance of offensive linemen.
Withers looked into Texas State’s own backyard in hopes of strengthening his offensive line, which will be graduating leaders in Ryan Melton and Felix Romero after this season.
“It was extremely special because it was a dream come true and it just made it so much better that it was Texas State because it’s here in town,” Costilla said.
Costilla was a guest of Texas State’s for the past two home games, and got to observe firsthand what the environment was like.
“I learned about their program that even though they experience adversity they stick together,” he said. “I loved the environment and just everything about the game.”
Costilla’s mother, Rosina Rodriguez, said her son’s dreams have centered around playing college football, and knowing he has an opportunity to play Division I football while getting a college education could make both of their dreams a reality.
“It’s truly a blessing. Every parent wants their child happy. It’s surreal to be honest. With Alexander’s passion for the sport, I’ve always believed he would make his dreams become his reality, I just never imagined it would begin so soon in the middle of his junior year,” Rodriguez said. “Alexander will be able to have the best worlds of college; to get his degree while he’s doing what he loves best…playing football.”
Rodriguez and a large group of family and friends are there to cheer on Costilla’s blocks and pancakes before running back Jamon Johnson ever gets into the red zone.
With quarterback Tyler Moreno needing extra time in the pocket earlier this season to go through his progressions or tuck the ball and run, Costilla made the move to right tackle, and the results were immediate.
It’s easy to spot his supporters in the stands at San Marcos Toyota Rattler Stadium by their shirts with Costilla’s name and jersey number printed on the back.
“It would be a dream come true just to be out on the field on Saturday nights and perform at the next level,” he said. “But it would be even more special to play in front of my friends and family because they’ve been there since the start.”
“If Alexander were to choose to play for Texas State, our family gatherings would simply continue at every game,” Rodriguez said. “We love getting together to watch him do what he loves to do. He makes us proud. We all support him. Going to his games is a bonding time for us. “
Aside from packing the stands in San Marcos, the Costilla clan also travels to San Marcos’ away games, a trend that Rodriguez said could continue in college after Alex graduates in 2018.
“We just have to plan for longer road trips.”
Costilla and the Rattlers are back in action at home tonight for their homecoming game against Austin Akins.