Updated: April 29, 2011 1:12PM
As the NFL draft board slid near the low 20s, Anthony Castonzo began to get a little nervous on Thursday night.
But an encouraging word from his father Bill gave him hope.
“My dad kept saying I would be blocking for (quarterback) Peyton Manning,” related Castonzo, a Hawthorn Woods resident.
Moments later, the call came — Castonzo was drafted No. 22 in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts.
“A woman in charge of personnel called me,” said Castonzo, a 6-foot-7, 311-pound offensive tackle. “She put me on the phone with the (Colts) president and then I talked to the general manager and coach (Jim) Caldwell.”
The former Lake Zurich High School and Boston College star shared the experience with his family and friends at Oregano’s in Hawthorn Woods (which is owned by his parents).
“It was the perfect moment,” Castonzo said. “I chose to stay home so I could have the experience with everyone around me. It was an unbelievable experience to have everyone around me when my name got called.”
As the cheers went up at 9:22 p.m., Castonzo had to quiet the crowd while he talked with the Colts.
At 9:32 p.m., he declared: “Now, it’s a party.”
Castonzo, who played four years at Lake Zurich, one year at Fork Union Military and four years at Boston College, can’t wait to play in front of Manning.
“That’s gonna be great,” he said of blocking for Manning. “Wherever they want me to play, I can play.”
He figures to report to camp in short order now that the NFL lockout is over.
“That (no lockout) is huge,” said Castonzo, an AP third-team All-American last season. “That makes this all the more sweeter for me.”