Mike Gesicki Added To Mackey Award Watch List
The preseason hype train for Mike Gesicki just added a little more coal to its engine as the junior tight end was named to the Mackey Award watch list, an award annually bestowed upon the nation’s top tight end.
Gesicki, who is coming off his best statistical season after recording 13 catches for 125 yards and his first career touchdown, found himself battling for playing time behind Kyle Carter during his first two campaigns, but finally enters the preseason as the team’s surefire No. 1 option. His statistics might seem rather pedestrian — probably because they are. After struggling to consistently catch passes in the early portion of his season, Gesicki found himself playing second fiddle to players like Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton in Penn State’s offense. With Carter realizing his NFL aspirations with the Minnesota Vikings, the No. 1 tight end spot is Gesicki’s to lose.
With little experience behind him on the depth chart, expect Gesicki’s numbers to rise significantly in new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s offensive attack. Tight ends are typically relied upon as safety valves for young, inexperienced quarterbacks — much like Trace McSorley and Tommy Stevens. Gesicki will be counted on heavily, especially in redzone situations, meaning he has a chance to post the best numbers of his career — hands willing.
Gesicki becomes the fourth Nittany Lion added to a preseason watch list, joining Jason Cabinda, Saquon Barkley, and Godwin as players to watch as the 2016 regular season draws closer.