Linebacker Jonathan Celestin was just signed by the Pirates for the upcoming 2021 season. He last played for the XFL’s DC Defenders in 2020, notching 32 tackles in the pandemic shortened season. Before that Celestin sought opportunity in the NFL. As an undrafted free agent he signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. The Los Angeles Chargers picked him up then released him a month later. After that, the New York Jets added Celestin to their practice squad where he stayed for the duration of the 2018 regular season. In early 2019 Celestin was again signed, this time by the Carolina Panthers. He is fast, ran a 4.70 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, strong, did 27 reps of 225 pounds, and athletic, recorded a 32.5 inch vertical jump. Celestin is also an excellent tackler. Expect signing him to pay immediate dividends this spring.
As a senior for the University of Minnesota in 2017, Celestin started every game. He ended up second on the team with 78 tackles. In addition, he recovered 1 fumble and had an interception returned for a touchdown. Against Maryland, Celestin recorded a career-high 15 tackles. While the Gophers were only 5-7 on the year, they recorded big victories against Illinois and Nebraska. Celestin received the team’s Carl Eller Award, named for the most valuable defensive player. He was also named Minnesota’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award nominee.
For his Junior year, in 2016, Celestin finished with 80 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 4 pass break-ups. He recorded a team-high 13 tackles against Iowa. Celestin also had 12 tackles and a sack against Rutgers. By season’s end Celestin was named Academic All-Big Ten.
In 2015, Celestin’s sophomore year, he recorded 43 tackles on the season. His best game was against Nebraska where he made 8 tackles and forced a fumble. Celestin was also named Academic All-Big Ten.
As a true freshman in 2014 Celestin played in 11 games at linebacker and special teams for the Gophers. In his senior year at Mundy’s High School, Celestin recorded a mind-blowing 139 tackles after moving from safety to linebacker.
Celestin majored in kinesiology at Minnesota. He is entering his age-25 season for the Pirates.