An Off-the-Charts Visit

Making his second unofficial visit to the Wisconsin campus, Manahawkin (NJ) Southern Regional tight end Mike Gesicki had such a positive experience that he is planning a third stop in Madison before making his final decision.

Wisconsin has started its first football season under new coach Gary Andersen, but recruiting has not slowed down for the first year head coach. On only the second day of fall practice, the Badgers had one of their top offensive targets on campus in Manahawkin (NJ) Southern Regional tight end Mike Gesicki.

"I got in yesterday and immediately once I got in, I went to Camp Randall," Gesicki told Badger Nation. "I had a 45-to-an-hour meeting with Coach Andersen and he just laid down the guidelines, how Wisconsin is, what they believe in and how they play. He also explained my role and it was pretty cool. He talked about football, but more importantly talked about life. I found Coach Andersen to be a great guy. I got to talk Coach Genyk, (who) told me that he sees me as a very effective player (and) someone who could play their freshmen year.

"They definitely filled my schedule, so they made it the best possible visit they could have and did a very good job. I can't say enough about that team and those coaches. Watching practice today was great, so it was a very good visit."

While most schools look at the 6-6, 230-pound Gesicki as a tight end (where he is the No.16 tight end in the country by Fox Sports Next, the Badgers look at him as a versatile player, which intrigues him a lot.

"One of the best parts of the visit was how they looked at me," he said. "I was in the meeting room with Coach Genyk and then later I was in the wide receiver meeting room. They don't see me as just a tight end. Coach Andersen said he saw me as a big athlete and could see me playing tight end or wide out or even playing fullback in the backfield. That was the first time I sat in a tight end room and wide receiver room, so that was cool. Just them thinking of me being not only at one position really opened eyes to being that big athlete."

Not only did the Badgers open his eyes to the possibilities of playing multiple positions, he also left impressed from the different approach Andersen gave to him.

"I have been trying to meet anybody and everybody you can think of," said Gesicki, who has met with head coaches Bill O'Brien (Penn State, Jimbo Fisher (Florida State) and Urban Meyer (Ohio State) during the process. "I have seen all the different coaching approach, but Coach Andersen was the guy that took kind of a different approach to it. He told me that football will take care of itself, but life is what we really care about more. We want you to be prepared for life and make sure you are getting ready for that. Life is much more important than a game of football.

"That hit me what he told me and I knew he was a family guy when he referenced that his players are his 105 children. He is a very good guy and was not even close to pressuring me. He told me if I want to commit now then go for it, but if I want to commit in three months from now then it is fine. They are not going to rush me.

"This was my second time being there and the first time was in February where it was snowing and cold, but I loved it then, so I knew I was going to love it when it was warm and sunny. It is a great university and a great place to spend the next four years at. I love Wisconsin and have been saying it since day one."

With the visit all done, how did the highly touted tight end rank his visit at Madison on a scale of 1-to-10?

"I would rate my visit an 11 at Wisconsin," said Gesicki. "On my list, I don't really have a front runner or back runner or someone in the middle. I would say they are definitely somewhere up top on that list, though."

Having already traveled to Ohio State, Yale, Miami, Florida State, Duke and Wisconsin this summer, Gesicki plans on two final visits before the start of the season.

"My last places to visit will be at Rutgers and Penn State," said Gesicki. "I am done flying to places, so I will be at Penn State on Friday and go to Rutgers sometime this summer. Both will be driving visits. I think I will make my decision maybe mid-October to early November. I want to go to some games and get that gameday atmosphere. I will be back in Madison to watch a game for sure. I am in no rush and I am enjoying the process."


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