Fiesta Bowl Marks End of Mike Gesicki’s Football Career at Penn State

Dec 20, 2017
Courtesy of: Penn State University Athletics

For the past two years, Mike Gesicki has been an integral part of the Penn State football team’s offense, breaking several records along the way as the Nittany Lions climbed back into college football’s upper echelon. On Saturday, Dec. 30, Gesicki’s excellent career will come to an end in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl.

The Nittany Lions, ranked ninth in the country heading into bowl season, will square off against No. 11 Washington in a battle of 10-2 teams. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. (EST) on ESPN and will be played at Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

The former Southern Regional High School football, basketball and volleyball star a month ago played in the 50th game of his career when PSU routed Maryland, 66-3, capping another regular season during which he broke his own record for receptions in a season by a tight end and added to his single-season record for TD receptions and career record for yardage by a tight end. Against the Terrapins on Nov. 25, Gesicki caught five passes, including two for TDs, for 35 yards.

Playing in all 12 games this season, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound senior has 51 receptions, topping his 48 from last year when he first broke the single-season receptions record for a tight end, for 501 yards and nine touchdowns. He ranks third among FBS tight ends in touchdowns, second in receptions and sixth in receiving yards. Gesicki has had at least one reception in 26 straight games.

For his career, Gesicki has 123 receptions, which is 10th on PSU’s career receptions list and the most by a tight end in program history – the previous high being Andrew Quarless’ 87 grabs from 2006-09. Gesicki also has 1,419 career receiving yards, which this season surpassed the record (1,343) once held by Ted Kwalick from 1966-68. Gesicki also owns the record for yards in a single season by a tight end with 679, which he set last season.

Earlier this month, Gesicki was selected to the All-Big Ten first team by the media and to the second team by the coaches. He also was one of three finalists for the Mackey Award, given to the most outstanding collegiate tight end. It was the first time a Penn State tight end had ever been a finalist for the award named after John Mackey.

David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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