The Nittany Lions of Penn State have had some rough times of late and I won’t even get into the worst of it involving previous coaching staffs.
But, 7-6 won/loss records are not going to get the job done at a school like Penn State. The Nittany Lions ranked 14th in the nation in total defense, but their offense was appallingly horrible.
There were many factors contributing to the offensive mess. Penn State head coach James Franklin has taken some steps to correct the deficiencies, including replacing his Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach.
But, one of their problems was former top Tight End recruit Mike Gesicki developed a bad case of
the dreaded boxers disease called Hands of Stone. Having hands of stone is great if you are a boxer from Panama, but it’s not a good thing for any kind of a receiver.
Suddenly, Gesicki couldn’t catch a ball if it hit him right in the hands.
After the 2014 season, Penn State Tight End Jessie James decided to play for money and he declared for the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steelers kept the Pennsylvania native at home by taking him with their 5th round pick and the 6-7, 260 James currently plays for the Steelers.
Jessie James caught 38 passes for Penn State in 2014 and he was a huge loss for the Nittany Lion offense. His loss was felt not just for the receiving talent, but also for his blocking skills.
Mike Gesicki was being counted on as the replacement for James, and he had something of a rough season.
If you wonder what the big deal is about Gesicki you need to know that he is reported to have a 40 inch vertical at 6-6, 250 and if you have seen his Youtube.com basketball video you would understand.
Gesicki is a gifted athlete, maybe one of the more talented big guys around. But, he was not very good in his first two seasons in State College.
Gesicki did look really good last Spring in the Penn State Spring Game. He showed great speed and athletic ability which is what we have expected to see for the past two seasons.
Gesicki has the talent to become one of the better Tight Ends in the game.
Could 2016 be the year of Mike Gesicki?
The game, the Big 10, and Penn State could use a Mike Gesicki playing up to his potential. Just like the New England Patriots need Rob Gronkowski to play up to his potential. Please don’t think for one minute that I am comparing Mike Gesicki to Rob Gronkowski because they are worlds apart.
But, Gesicki does have the potential for greatness. If he lives up to that, the Penn State offense just got a lot more dangerous for opponents whether Trace McSorley or Tommy Stevens wins the Quarterback job.
The Penn State Nittany Lions have had some great Tight Ends in the past such as two time All American Ted Kwalik from Joe Paterno’s early days. But, there were others like Kyle Brady and Andrew Quarless.
It would be fun to see Mike Gesicki to become the next great Penn State Tight End.