Penn State’s offense should be dangerous in 2017 with the return of rising quarterback Trace McSorley and one of the best running backs in the Big Ten, Saquon Barkley. On Thursday, another key piece of the offensive puzzle announced he will return for his senior season. Tight end Mike Gesicki thought about potentially leaving for the NFL with one year of eligibility remaining in State College, but he will instead return to Penn State next season to play one final year.
“After some in-depth thought and countless conversations with family, friends, temamates and coaches, I have decided to place all of my focus on the Rose Bowl and the task at hand, which is USC, and put a lifelong dream of mine on hold for one year,” Gesicki said in a statement released on Twitter. “I am beyond excited to announce that I will be returning for my senior season at the greatest university in the country and playing in front of the best fans in the world.”
This statement would seem to suggest Gesicki had at least a brief passing thought of following in a trend a handful of other players have opted for this bowl season, which is to sit out of the bowl game in order to prepare for the NFL Draft. Fortunately for Penn State, Gesicki chose to return for next season. Gesicki had the most receptions (47), receiving yards (668), and receiving yards per game (51.4) by a tight end in the Big Ten this season. Gesicki should be one of the top tight ends to return to the Big Ten next season as well, giving offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead another reliable tool in his tool box to work with.
Gesicki caught three passes for 58 yards and a touchdown in the Big Ten championship game victory over Wisconsin.