Must see: Celestin seals Gophers win with 'magical' pick-six for his late father

The senior linebacker lost his father in April, and he made a huge play for him Saturday.
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It's been six months since Gophers linebacker Jonathan Celestin's father was hit by a truck and killed while taking an early morning walk in Georgia. 

Celestin, a senior leader for the Gophers, dedicated his season to his father. On Saturday, his interception return for a touchdown helped Minnesota beat Illinois, 24-17 to improve to 4-3 on the season – and it was a moment for a lifetime for Celestin. 

"All for my pops," Celestin said in a Big Ten Network interview. "Grateful." 

Celestin held back the tears but choked up a little bit when he said his gesture to the sky after scoring the touchdown was for his dad. 

"Something magical on that field happened today. Something spiritual, something of a higher power, whatever you believe in. That was Jon Celestin," said coach P.J. Fleck. "You talk about everything he's been through as a young student-athlete. What he's had to cope with and deal with and be the leader of his family. And then have a coaching change and rely on us to be the fill in for your dad. We can never be your dad, but I want to be as close to your dad as I possibly can be, and to have that trust there – that's why we coach."

The Gophers play at Iowa next Saturday at 5:30 p.m. 

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