Edmonton Eskimos defensive line coach Demetrious Maxie does not want to see Jake Ceresna in the Canadian Football League again. After accumulating eight sacks playing for Maxie and the Eskimos a season ago, Ceresna earned a reserve/futures contract with the New York Giants.
The next time Maxie sees him he wants it to be on his TV screen playing along the defensive line for the Giants.
“I believe he’s going to be a great asset for the Giants. They did a good job giving that young man an opportunity,” Maxie said recently via phone. “I’m sad that I don’t have him, but I’m proud that he’s given that opportunity. When he left and had that opportunity with them I said I really don’t want to see you.
“I don’t want anybody coming back after being given a great opportunity like this when they deserve to have that opportunity.”
Let’s take a closer look at Ceresna as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
How he got here
It’s been quite the ride for Ceresna. He played for Division II Southern Connecticut State for a year, then played three seasons at Division III Cortland State in upstate New York. Undrafted, he spent a couple of weeks with the New York Jets during their 2016 training camp.
Ceresna then spent two seasons playing in the Canadian Football League, one for the Ottawa franchise and 2018 for a team in Edmonton. The Edmonton Eskimos released him so he could sign a reserve/futures contract with the Giants.
Maxie said that Ceresna “deserves” the opportunity.
“There’s a ton of athletes that get overlooked, right? He was one of those kids that got overlooked, and he worked on his skill daily to get to where he is right now. He’s seizing his moment,” Maxie said. “Hopefully they give him an opportunity and he makes the team because I believe he can play in the NFL. He did a great job here for me, and for the Edmonton Eskimos.
Ceresna had eight sacks for Edmonton last season, and two the season before that with Ottawa.
“Jake has all the tangibles as far as what the NFL is looking for as far as height, size, athleticism. He’s just an explosive good, big, young man,” Maxie said.
“When you get a young man like Jake -- 6-5, 300 pounds that can run you’ve got the best of both worlds. You need a defensive lineman that can run to the ball and get to the ball and make things happen.”
Ceresna would appear to face long odds to make the Giants’ 53-man roster. Still, NFL teams will take pass rush help anywhere they can find it, and there is precedent. Cameron Wake has 98 sacks in 10 NFL seasons after spending two years in Canada, so it can happen.
“Jake is strong as heck. Whatever he does in the weight room it does transfer out onto the field. If the Giants are a big down the middle, walk a man back he’s gonna be great at that. If the Giants want him to wiggle a little bit from speed to power and then make a move he can do that also,” Maxie said.
“Whatever the Giants are going to allow him to do or want him to do, Jake can get it done.”
Maxie is rooting for him.
“I hope this dude makes it. He really put in the work to get to where he is,” he said. “He’s a big guy and he’s athletic and strong that can run. That’s his biggest asset right now that he can run and he has relentless energy. He has a lot of good energy. That’s what you need. Explosive, big, physical defensive lineman that’s gonna get after it.”