After already earning a host of preseason All-America accolades, it was only a matter of time before Mike Gesicki was further recognized as one of the best tight ends in college football. That occurred Tuesday.
A senior from Manahawkin, N.J., Gesicki has been named to the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award, which is presented annually to the nation's best TE. An honor named after NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey, who is considered one of the best to ever play the TE position, it is the second year in a row that Gesicki has appeared on its watch list.
Last year, Gesicki had a career outing, breaking school records for receptions and yardage by a TE in a season with 48 catches for 679 yards. He also tied the single-season high mark at PSU with five touchdown catches as a TE. His 679 yards was among the top 10 in the nation for TEs in 2016 and they led the Big Ten. They were also enough to earn him second-team all-conference honors from the media and honorable mention from Big Ten coaches.
Gesicki is one of five Nittany Lions to already have their names don preseason watch lists this week.
On Monday the Maxwell Award included Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley within the publication of it watch list, which is given annually to the college football's best all-around player. Jason Cabinda and Marcus Allen were both added to the Bednarik Award watch list, an award bestowed upon America's best defensive player at the end of the season.