Top Returning Big Ten Tight Ends For 2017

    The top returning Big Ten tight ends for 2017 feature one of the nation's best pass-catchers and game-breakers at the position.

    March 8, 2017

    The top returning Big Ten tight ends for 2017 feature one of the nation’s best pass-catchers and game-breakers at the position.


    The Mackey Award folks would be well-advised to set up a satellite office in the Midwest for 2017, because the nation’s top two tight ends play in the Big Ten. Mike Gesicki or Troy Fumagalli? Fumagalli or Gesicki? It’s really a toss-up, which both targets would swipe out of the air with their long arms and deft ball skills. The Lion and the Badger will battle all season, to not only succeed Michigan’s Jake Butt as the league’s Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year, but also for national accolades.

    Top Returning Big Ten Tight Ends

    3. Marcus Baugh, Ohio State

    Baugh is coming off his best season in Columbus, earning honorable All-Big Ten in a league that was littered with outstanding tight ends. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder is a large target, yet he moves well for his size and can quickly get downfield to provide blocking support. Baugh hauled in a career-high 24 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns last season, numbers he hopes to surpass as a senior.

    2. Mike Gesicki, Penn State

    Now that Gesicki has delivered his breakthrough season in Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions are excited to see what he can do for an encore as a senior. The 6-6, 252-pound athlete meshed nicely with Penn State’s downfield passing attack, catching 48 balls for 679 yards and five touchdowns. Gesicki has can’t-miss length, which he accentuates with the ability to sky high into the air to nab the ball. If he can bulk up a little and improve his blocking, it won’t be lost on pro scouts.

    1. Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin

    Fumagalli has one final year in Madison to stake his claim to the top tight end in the Big Ten—and the nation at large. He’s a playmaker in the passing game for the Badgers, with the agility and length to make the catches that others at his position cannot. As a junior, Fumagalli caught 47 passes for 580 yards and a couple of touchdowns, with an exclamation point MVP performance in the Cotton Bowl. He should be a more frequent end zone occupant in 2017.

    MORE: Best Returning Tight Ends In College Football For 2017

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