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Penn State Football: From A Notebook To Reality, Gesicki Makes Words Come To Life

by on November 15, 2017 1:00 PM

Somewhere in his room Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki had a notebook.

Pages of open space to collect thoughts, write down reminders. It could have been used for anything, it could have been used for nothing, just taking up space.

But instead, Gesicki wrote the same thing on one of those pages each and every morning.

"I would write in my notebook every day. First thing I'd write is "I'm the best tight end" every single day," Gesikci said on Tuesday. "If anybody ever read that, they would have laughed at me at that point in my life. Just like because they're like you're not even close to that. But I knew what I was capable of. That's something that I'm very proud of to kind of hold with me, and grow and develop and become the player I am."

The player Gesicki has become was the one he said he could be. The soon-to-be former Nittany Lion is one of the best tight ends in the nation, and among the best to ever play for Penn State. It's a far cry from Gesicki's first two seasons in State College, ones that were accented my errors and drops. The potential was there, but it seemed so far away.

"I think that coming here, I had a ton of expectations for myself, and then there's obviously a bunch of outside expectations that I was looking to live up to," Gesicki added.

"Ultimately my first year I did my job. I was pretty much a wide receiver. I went in on passing downs and caught like 10 or 11 balls. I was there for my freshman year. Then my sophomore year, obviously, everybody's heard the story a hundred thousand times. Didn't go the way I wanted it to, all that kind of stuff."

If you were a newcomer to Penn State football the story might surprise you. Gesicki has been a staple in the Nittany Lions' offense for two years and a far cry from the 'almost' moments that were such a frequent visitor to the Gesicki highlight reel. Mistakes he won't even talk about, ask him and it's just "you know which ones" and nothing more. Now he leads the program all-time in receptions by a tight end.

Which is why Saturday will be bittersweet for the likes of Gesicki and DaeSean Hamilton, players who grinded through a career of ups and downs to become the players they are today. The field at Beaver Stadium going from a house of horrors to a place of comfort. It's an arc in many ways far more rewarding than those players who glide through four years without issue. If nothing else, it's more rewarding.

"I owe a lot of credit to my coaches, my teammates, and my family and friends and all that stuff for sticking with me and fighting out the other side," Gesicki said. "And being able to look back at my Penn State career and being proud of everything I've gone through."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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