DaeSean Hamilton, Mike Gesicki and Juwan Johnson are known to put in extra work after practice when the rest of the team heads to the locker room.
What many don't know, however, is that one of those players is viewed as a celebrity among his teammates.
"I mean, there are like 50 kids on our team who would die to be friends with DaeSean," Gesicki said Tuesday. But the senior tight end claims he started the hype surrounding the "club," as he referred to it, becoming friends with Hamilton first. Now, it seems as though everyone wants in.
"Tommy [Stevens] would be like, 'Yo, how come Ham doesn't talk to me?' Everybody comes to me like I'm his secretary or something," Gesicki said.
However, the friend group isn't solely about the social aspect. Both Gesicki and Hamilton have struggled at times in their collegiate careers. Gesicki started to put in extra work two years ago with the tight ends. Due to conflicting schedules, he began practicing with Hamilton in the offseason, catching 200 balls per day from the Jugs machine, which accurately throws passes. The stats say it all.
From 2015 to 2016, Gesicki went from averaging 9.6 receiving yards and scoring one touchdown, to averaging 14.1 yards and five touchdowns. This season, he has already recorded five TDs in 10 games. In his first two seasons combined, Gesicki had 239 yards total in 18 games. The next two years, he recorded 679 and 419 yards, in 14 and 10 games. On Wednesday, he was named a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the most outstanding tight end in the FBS.
Hamilton, whose performance dropped off considerably after his freshman year, saw his numbers go up this season. In 10 games, the senior wide receiver averages 16.6 yards per reception and has 646 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Based on those results, maybe it's not the worst idea to join that friend club. The latest addition is running back Andre Robinson. He had an advantage, however, being Gesicki's roommate.
"Dude, I wish DaeSean would talk to me," Robinson would say, according to Gesicki. Gesicki replied, "Maybe go up and say what's up to him." Robinson rook a different route, searching through Gesicki's phone to get Hamilton's number.
"Who is this?" Hamilton asked when the redshirt sophomore texted him. "Oh, yeah, it's Andre." "So then Andre would text him like a hundred times a day, really just annoy him to be his friend," Gesicki said. "Now he knows that Andre's a funny dude and likes hanging out with him."
Exclusive groups aside, the hard work that came out of the friendships has paid off on the field. But Johnson will have to find other teammates to put in extra work with when Gesicki and Hamilton leave after this season.
"Juwan always says, 'Man, we've got a few more weeks and then I'm going to be out here throwing the ball to myself.' So I'm not sure who Juwan is going to let enter this prestigious club of ours," Gesicki said, "but, whoever it is, they're going to go out there and get in a bunch of extra work and prepare for Saturdays, just like we have been for the past two years."