His coaches describe him as the type of player who doesn’t come around very often at the Division-II level. His size and combination of skills on the interior defensive line are unquestioned.
Cees Doxsey is far from a polished product, however.
The former Erie High School athlete is an intriguing work in progress as he enters his junior season at Colorado Mesa, where he undoubtedly will be in the rotation and compete for a starting job.
“Cees, he’s a gifted athlete,” Mavericks defensive line coach Seth Damron said. “A guy as big as he is, he weighed around 320 pounds when he left last season, but he could really carry it. You don’t get many guys like him at the Division-II level. He can flat run for how big of a guy he is.”
Doxsey’s first name is pronounced “Case” but don’t worry about that. You can call him Diesel.
He’s big, bordering on hulking. And while he has contributed to the Mavericks defense in his first two seasons, a quick perusal of his skills/shortcomings quotient makes it easy to discern that he hasn’t yet reached his ceiling.
“For me, I’m looking for a much better performance,” Doxsey said. “I didn’t like the way that I played last year. This year is looking a lot better. Not just for me, but for the entire team.”
Doxsey’s issues with his game are the same ones outlined by his coaches. Damron explains.
“The thing that has hurt him in the past is his consistency with staying in shape over the summer,” Damron said. “He’s always going to have great strength, power and explosiveness off the ball. But last year, he wasn’t playing a ton early. Not because he wasn’t physically gifted enough, but because he would get winded after a few plays.”
After his freshman season, Doxsey came home to Erie for the summer and worked a construction job. He’d put in eight- and nine-hour days, and, while it helped him stay strong, it wasn’t the proper type of workout to stay in shape.
This season, he remained in Grand Junction with several of his teammates. He has worked out more vigorously and is eagerly eyeing camp, which starts in a little more than one week. With conditioning less of an issue, Doxsey can continue to develop the other portions of his game.
“Most of my life I’ve just ran into people and moved them out of the way,” Doxsey said. “Once you get to this level, you can’t do that anymore. I’m still the biggest person on my team weight-wise, but you still have to have that technique.
“If I would have had technique when I got here, it’d be a whole different ballgame. But that’s the fun thing. Every day I’m learning football.”
There is a tinge of irony that Doxsey comes from Erie, where he was a defensive lineman and fullback. Erie’s program is known to be hardworking but undersized. Doxsey’s size — he’s listed at 6-foot-1, 300 pounds — is so prominent that many guess he’s solely a run stuffer.
But as second-year Colorado Mesa head coach Russ Martin points out, it’d be foolish to overlook Doxsey as a pass rusher.
“We’re trying to get Cees to the point where he’s a dominant every-down player,” Martin said. “His niche right now is to stop the run, but he can be an extremely strong pass rusher. The things in the past that have prevented it is simply the fact that he wasn’t in on the pass downs.”
That goes back to the conditioning, and the notion that the Mavericks liberally rotate a cadre of defensive linemen. Doxsey, who recorded 32 tackles, five tackles for a loss and two sacks last season, knows he will play. But he admits there would be something special about being amongst the first rotation, being listed a first-teamer.
“Absolutely,” he said. “That’d be amazing.”
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