Former Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki has all of the tools to become one of the NFL’s next multi-dimensional tight ends. The former Under Armour All-American and Southern Regional High School (N.J.) basketball and volleyball standout often leapt over the competition in Happy Valley. He is a player who has shown a knack for the clutch grabs on some of the team’s biggest stages. We caught up with the Academic All-Big Ten standout during the week of 2018 Senior Bowl practices to discuss his confidence, athleticism and goals for the future.
DN: In terms of your week (Senior Bowl 2018) how have you felt it has gone? Seems like you’ve been a tough match-up for a lot of the guys covering you, both safeties and linebackers. How have you felt about your route running?
Gesicki: I felt really good all week. Starting on Tuesday and leading all the way up to this practice and then through it. Felt really good. I’m a kind of guy that’s really confident in my abilities. So when I line up I know I’m going to win. Whether it’s man coverage or if it’s zone I’m going to find that open spot. So, all week in the one-on-ones that’s all of the stuff that I take pride in. It’s you versus another man and I’m doing whatever I can to win.
DN: It seems like a lot of your numbers that you’ve had -in terms of your workout numbers- were amazing in school. 10’7″ broad, you run in the 4.5-range and 38, 39-inch vertical. Talk a little bit about some of your goals for the combine and Pro Days.
Gesicki: Yeah, the combine…that’s kind of something that people ask me, ‘Are you nervous for the combine?’, all that kind of stuff. No, I’m not nervous at all. That’s kind of what I do. I run fast, I jump high, I’m strong, all that kind of stuff. So when I go to the combine I’ve got goals and aspirations that I want to reach. Whatever it is I’m going to continue to train and continue to work hard. I obviously want to run anywhere around the 4.55-range in that area (40-yard dash). Like you said, I want to get up in the long jump and try to break the record of 11’2″ for tight ends. I want to get somewhere around 11’3. Just continue to show off my athletic ability.
DN: Finally, confidence has always been a big part of your game. When you get a one-on-one matchup, you’ve wanted the ball throughout your career. Talk a little bit about what brings that out in you.
Gesicki: My entire life it’s just kind of been who I am in terms of confidence. Playing basketball growing up, if there was three seconds left I want to take the last shot. Now (at PSU) if we are in the Red Zone, one-on-one, I want the ball. Last play of the game, put it up to me on third down. Whatever it is, that’s just kind of who I am. I’m a big-time competitor. I’m going to do whatever it takes to win. I’m very confident in my abilities. So when I get out on the field and my number is called, I know I’m going to come up and deliver.
DN: Best of luck man. Appreciate the time.
Gesicki: Thank you very much.
—-2018 Senior Bowl practices, Day 3
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