Penn State Football

Penn State Football Elite: Ranking the Nittany Lions’ Top 5 Tight Ends of All Time

Penn State Football has a storied history of producing exceptional tight ends who have left an indelible mark on the program.

These versatile playmakers have brought a unique combination of athleticism, size, and skill to the Nittany Lions‘ offense, becoming integral parts of the team’s success.

In this article, we delve into the annals of Penn State Football to rank the top five tight ends who have graced the program with their remarkable talents and unforgettable performances.

Ranking the Top-5 Penn State Football TEs of All-Time

No. 5 – Ted Kwalick

Ted Kwalick paved the way for the tradition of excellence at the tight end position for Penn State.

A standout in the late 1960s, Kwalick was a dominant force in both the passing and running game.

Kwalick’s athleticism, agility, and exceptional blocking skills made him a complete tight end. Kwalick’s impact on the program was recognized with All-American honors and a College Football Hall of Fame induction.


No. 4 – Pat Freiermuth

Pat Freiermuth burst onto the scene as a true freshman, quickly establishing himself as one of the premier tight ends in college football.

With his 6-foot-5 frame and physicality, Freiermuth excelled as a pass-catcher and a blocker.

Freiermuth amassed 1,185 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns, showcasing his versatility and knack for making big plays. Freiermuth’s impact extended beyond the numbers, as his leadership and work ethic set the standard for future Penn State tight ends.

No. 3 – Jesse James

Jesse James carved his name in Penn State’s tight end lore with his consistent production and reliability.

A reliable target in the passing game, James showcased his catching ability and knack for finding open spaces. He recorded 1,796 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns during his collegiate career, earning the respect of teammates and opponents alike.

James’ reliable hands and football IQ made him a valuable asset for the Nittany Lions.


No. 2 – Kyle Brady

Kyle Brady was a force to be reckoned with during his tenure at Penn State Football.

A versatile tight end known for his exceptional blocking skills, Brady was also a reliable target in the passing game. Brady played a key role in the Nittany Lions’ undefeated 1994 season, providing a strong presence in both the ground and aerial attacks.

Brady’s impact extended beyond the statistics, as he epitomized the blue-collar work ethic that has defined Penn State Football.

No. 1 – Mike Gesicki

Mike Gesicki stands tall as one of the most dominant tight ends in Penn State’s history.

His imposing 6-foot-6 frame, impressive leaping ability, and exceptional hands made him a nightmare matchup for defenders.

Gesicki showcased his prowess as a receiver, amassing 1,481 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns during his collegiate career. He set numerous program records, leaving an indelible legacy as a game-changer in the passing game.

Penn State Football’s legacy of exceptional tight ends is a testament to the program’s commitment to excellence.

From Gesicki‘s aerial dominance to Brady’s versatile skills and Freiermuth’s impact as a playmaker, each tight end on this list has left an indelible mark on Penn State’s rich football tradition.

As the program continues to evolve, it is the contributions of these remarkable athletes that serve as a reminder of the greatness that has graced the field at Happy Valley.

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