There was mixed news for a pair of Shore Conference alums who are a big part of the Penn State football program. Senior Mike Gesicki (Southern Regional) is among the eight semifinalists for the John Mackey Award which is given each year to the nation’s top college tight end. The finalists will be announced Monday with the award winner to be named on December 6 and then presented during the Home Depot College Football Awards on December 7 in Atlanta.

Gesicki leads the 10th ranked Nittany Lions with 42 receptions, including five touchdowns and his 114 career receptions are the most by a tight end in school history. He needs just six yards to break Ted Kwalick’s (1966-68) program record for career receiving yards by a tight end (1,343) and also holds other PSU records for the position. The Manahawkin native was named a midseason All-American by Sports Illustrated and comes into Saturday’s home finale against Nebraska with receptions in 24 straight games.

Craig Houtz,
Craig Houtz,

Meanwhile, for the second time in his Penn State career, junior linebacker Manny Bowen (Barnegat) has been disciplined by head coach James Franklin. Bowen did not play in last week’s win over Rutgers and when asked afterward said: “Manny Bowen did not play for a violation of team rules.” During Tuesday’s press conference about whether he would be available for this Saturday Franklin said, “No on Manny.” Franklin would not say if Bowen’s suspension was for the remainder of the season.

Bowen had started the first nine games at outside linebacker and his 51 tackles are third on the team. He was also suspended from the Rose Bowl game in January for a violation of team rules.

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