CBN.com Defensive End Jacques Cesaire helps anchor the NFL’s top-rated San Diego Charger defense.
“You put your hand in the ground and go to work,” he tells The 700 Club.
Cesaire defied the odds, coming out of Southern Connecticut State University – a non-scholarship, division two school – and finding success in the NFL. But his dream of playing pro football was almost never realized.
“I got to college, and there were all these influences around me. I dove into drinking and partying and girls and things like that.”
His grades also dropped. As a result, he was nearly kicked off the team and out of school
“My college coach said, ‘You’re going to fail out of school unless you make some changes in your life and you become a man.’”
His mother, who was a Christian, gave it to him straight. He recalls, “She gave me a Bible. She said, ‘This is how you’re going to get out of the situation that you’re in.’ Of course, being 20 years old, I’m thinking you’re crazy. Like what’s the Bible going to do for me right now?”
Still, he listened to her and started studying the Bible. His coach also brought in a team chaplain to keep the players focused.
“I didn’t know it, but God was working in my life. I went to chapel and I sat in the back. He’s talking about the blood of Christ, how Christ died for us, He loves us and there’s nothing that we need to do, absolutely nothing that we need to do. He’s already accepted us; the battle’s won.”
Cesaire soon accepted Jesus as his Savior. In Christ, he found the focus that he needed.
“When I got saved, obviously I stopped drinking, so that helped me out a lot with football. Stopped staying up late and just started eating better and just trying to be an overall better player.”
With a renewed energy, his hard work finally paid off. After his pro day performance in front of NFL scouts, he received a call.
“The Chargers told me, ‘We’re not going to draft you, but we’ll bring you in and give you a fair shot at making the team.’ I said, ‘That’s all I want.’”
Cesaire made the most of that opportunity by displaying a relentless drive and never giving up on plays.
“I need to give it my all, all the time, because I got that chance. I would be cheating everybody if I didn’t, including God Himself because He gave me that blessing.”
Now in his eighth season, Cesaire ues wants to continue to honor God by his play on the field. He says, “There’s not a day than doesn’t go by that I don’t thank God for all this. This is a dream come true ‘cause I’m playing a kid’s game and they’re paying me for it. You have the motivation that you know that you’re truly playing for an audience of one. That you’re truly playing to serve God’s Kingdom.”