Mike Gesicki sticks with Penn State for football - pressofAtlanticCity.com: High School Sports Blog

Mike Gesicki sticks with Penn State for football - pressofAtlanticCity.com: High School Sports Blog

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Mike Gesicki sticks with Penn State for football

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Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 12:17 pm

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP – Mike Gesicki admitted the Penn State football coaching change shook him up.

It took one visit from new coach James Franklin to put Gesicki’s mind at ease. Franklin replaced Bill O’Brien, who resigned in early January to become the coach of the Houston Texans.

Gesicki, a Southern Regional High School senior, signed a national letter of intent Wednesday morning to attend Penn State on a scholarship.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Gesicki is one of the nation’s top tight end prospects. He is too strong for defensive backs to cover and too fast for linebackers to keep up with.

Gesicki verbally committed to Penn State in October. He chose the Nittany Lions over Ohio State. Those were two of the 22 Football Bow; Subdivision schools that offered him scholarships.

But after O’Brien left, media and fans began to wonder if Gesicki would change his mind.

Ohio State tight end coach Tim Hinton watched Gesicki play basketball for Southern on Thursday Jan. 16.

Two days later Franklin and a couple of Penn State assistants watched Gesicki and the Rams play St. Augustine Prep in basketball. Afterward, Franklin visited Gesicki’s home in Manahawkin.

Franklin and Gesicki weren’t strangers. Franklin was the coach of Vanderbilt and had recruited Gesicki for that school.

Penn State is an offense on the rise. Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg was one of the nation's top freshmen last season.

Gesicki already has solved one problem that faces all incoming college freshmen.

He plans to room with Saeed Blacknall, a wide receiver from Manalapan, who also signed a letter of Wednesday to play at Penn State.

Gesicki’s family attended Wednesday’s signing ceremony at Southern. Gesicki sat between his mother, Donna, and father, Mike.


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Mike McGarry
James Clark
  • James Clark
  • Sports Writer
    The Press of Atlantic City
  • E-mail: jclark@pressofac.com
  • Phone: 609-272-7000
  • James Clark has been following local high school sports since his time as a student at Ocean City High School in the 1980s. Clark also serves as The Press' soccer blogger and coaches his twin sons' U13 soccer team.
Susan Lulgjuraj
David Weinberg
James Clark
  • James Clark
  • Assistant Soccer Coach at St. Augustine Prep
  • James Clark has been writing about soccer for various media outlets, including The Press of Atlantic City, for 15 years. The Northfield resident coached travel teams in the South Jersey Soccer League for a decade and is currently an assistant soccer coach at St. Augustine Prep. Clark's blog will appear three times a week and daily during this summer's World Cup.
Kevin Clapp
David Weinberg