E.J. Celestine Excited for the Transition

Lake Charles (LA) athlete E.J. Celestine is an explosive running back for Barbe Alfred High, but he is preparing to make the transition to receiver once he comes to Texas Tech. RaiderPower.com caught up with E.J. to find out how he's preparing to make the transition and how things are going since he gave his verbal commitment.

Ernest Celestine is a versatile athlete who has tremendous speed, something the coaches at Texas Tech were looking for when they extended an offer to him. Although he playing running back in high school, the coaches are looking at Ernest, or E.J. as he prefers to be called, to play receiver and kickoff returns. During his visit to Lubbock, he also briefly worked out as a defensive back, showing that he can play almost anywhere on the field. Celestine is preparing to make the transition and feels confident t in his abilities to make big contributions as a Red Raider.

"I think the transition from running back to receiver will be pretty smooth," Celestine explained. "I've played receiver before; I just have played mostly running back in high school, but I kind of switch back and forth.

"I actually like playing receiver better," he continued. " I don't have to take quite as much of a pounding as I do at running back."

Even as a running back, E.J. had the chance to gain some yards through the air last season and was able to capitalize on those opportunities.

"I had 487 receiving yards, 978 rushing yards, and 23 touchdowns last season."

No matter what position he ends up at, E.J.'s speed will be his greatest asset.

"I have good hands and feet and great speed. If I can get the ball in the open field, I just need a little bit of space and I can make things happen."

Celestine isn't taking any time off and will be working hard to improve his game over the summer.

"I'm working on getting bigger and speed stuff this summer, but during the off-season I will be working on my routes and catching a lot of balls since I want to play receiver at Texas Tech."

As far as his decision to become a Red Raider, E.J. says that multiple factors fell into place, and he knew Texas Tech was the school for him.

"I loved everything at Texas Tech. I saw the stadium and was like, ‘Wow!' I loved the facilities and the coaches were really cool, which was important to me.

"[Texas Tech QB commit] Jacob [Karam] and I got real close the day we were in Lubbock for the minicamp. We started calling back and forth, and he called me the day he decided to commit. I was excited for him, and he told me that he really wanted to play with me. It made it a little easier for me to commit just knowing that we already had a good relationship. I wouldn't say that it had a huge impact on my decision, but it made everything easier."

Karam and Celestine have been in close contact ever since, and Karam recently reassured E.J. that he is solid in his commitment to Texas Tech.

"When I found out that Jacob had been offered by OU, I was like, ‘I need to call him,' because we're planning on being roommates and everything. So I talked to him and he told me not to worry, that he didn't want to go there and his commitment to Tech was still strong. He said Texas Tech is still #1."

Despite giving his verbal to the Red Raiders, Celestine still has a lot of schools interested.

"Louisiana Tech is still recruiting me hard, and I also hear a lot from Memphis. Louisiana Tech send me stuff like every day. Some of the other schools have kind of backed off. But right now since they can't call me, everything has kind of slowed down a little bit."


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