Michael Cerniauskas is a 5’11” 197 lbs. safety at Catholic High in Baton Rouge, LA. Michael is a 3-star recruit, was second-team all-district last year and currently has 11 offers but committed to Army West Point. Michael’s play is shown in each game as the heavy hitter on the defensive side. From pristine coverage in the open field and highlight-reel tackling, Michael is a one-man wrecking ball against any wide receiver.
Check out his highlights HERE.
At what age did you begin playing football and what motivated you to play this sport?
Tackle football I started in about 3rd and 4th grade but I played flag football back in 1st grade. I’m lucky enough to be playing with some of those same guys I played with back in middle school. My family has never really had a history of football, by my parents pushed me early on to get involved with sports but it was never their decision or forced me to play if I didn’t want to. I fell in love with it early and started to perfect my craft and now I’m starting to see the fruits of my labor.
What are some hobbies you have outside of sports?
I sometimes play basketball and go and golf with some of my friends on the weekend. But I still try to win in all of it, even in things that mean nothing I try to put my all into them.
What’s been the highlight of your football career?
I make big plays here and there but me making a big play doesn’t feel as good as winning a football game. Last year we went to state and ended up losing and that sucks. So those things aren’t too fun but I really fell in love with everything so I can’t really pick a moment that sticks out for me. Really every day every opportunity I go out there and show them what I’m made of and just playing together is really fun.
How do you think coaches and teammates would describe you as a player?
It doesn’t really sound like a term of endearment but at Catholic, it has kind of been a legacy but a lot of guys have been called “meat-heads” and it doesn’t sound like a good thing but honestly I see it as a compliment because it’s described as a guy that’s not afraid to get his nose dirty. Being able to run up to a pile and loves contact and stuff like that. So really just a physical football player that’s not afraid to get after it.
What is it like getting offers and commiting to West Point?
I’ve never been the guy to doubt myself at all. I’m really confident in the way I play. My initial thought was that maybe toward the end of my senior year I can pick up some offers. But early on after my junior season in the offseason workouts before, Nicholls was the first one to pull the trigger and soon after other followed and I felt like West Point was the right place for me. So I pulled the trigger on that but I’m still blessed every time I get an offer to go play college football.
What would you tell younger players who want to play high school football one day?
Give it a chance, even if you might not be the best at your high school, give it a chance. Because the relationships through football really do last a lifetime. The relationships you make are unmatched, I still talk to guys who’ve graduated and are in college for advice. Another thing is to work as hard as you can, I came into Catholic as a quarterback and talked to the coach who moved me to safety and it took off from there.
Is there anyone you try to emulate on the field?
I really wouldn’t say emulate my game because I feel like I more talk to those guys at the next level and try and see from their point of view and see what they see. Picking up little keys and pointers from guys who have done it before. I would say more learning from them instead of emulating.
What motivates you the most?
Trying to be the best I can be honestly. Whether it’s in life or in football or my faith, just trying to be the best you can be at it and maximizing your potential at it. Every time I’m sitting at my house I think about guys out there putting in work on the field and I ask myself, “Why can’t I?” and I get to work.