Glenn Gronkowski isn’t a typical K-State freshman. But the Gronkowski family isn’t exactly your typical American family either.
The Gronkowski family may currently be the most accomplished athletic family in the United States. The father of the family, Gordon, owns a fitness equipment company in Buffalo, N.Y. Three of Gordon’s sons, Dan, Chris and most notably Rob, play in the NFL. Another of son of Gordon, Gordon Jr., played minor league baseball. The youngest son, Glenn, attends K-State and plays fullback for the Wildcat football team.
"Man, all of them are athletes," sophomore quarterback Daniel Sams said. "I wish we could just showcase it more with Gronk as far as catching the ball. He makes some amazing catches in practice: one hand catches, diving catches. Sometimes you forget he’s a fullback."
Gronkowski is very athletic. Your typical fullback cannot line up as a wide receiver and catch a 50 yard touchdown pass like Gronkowski did against UMass. His versatility makes him a weapon all over the field and makes him a scouting report nightmare for opposing coaches.
"You saw when he caught [the pass against UMass] how he could run," junior quarterback Jake Waters said. "That’s big. That’s another thing the defense has to prepare for, and another thing we can do. So that’s definitely big to have a target like him."
Versatility is a huge part of Gronkowski’s game. Like his NFL Pro-Bowl brother Rob, Glenn has a distinct mix of size and speed that most humans simply don’t posses. He is 6-foot-3-inch and weighs 234 pounds. But he can also run a 40 yard dash in 4.6 seconds, according to Yahoo! Sports. In his final year of high school, Gronkowski had 125 catches for 2,076 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was named the co-Offensive Player of the Year in Section VI Class AA North in New York.
"Not only can he block, but he can run routes, he can catch the ball and he can also run," junior wide receiver Tyler Lockett said. "I don’t think a lot of people see a fullback like that who can run the ball. I think it just shows his ability to be put in any position."
The hype is great, but it hasn’t been all glitz and glamor for Gronkowski in his time at K-State. Last year, Gronkowski came to K-State and was redshirted. With former K-State fullback Braden Wilson in the mix, it was hard for Gronkowski to see snaps, so redshirting him saved him another year of eligibility. Waiting a year before getting on the field isn’t exactly what a lot of players have in mind. During that time, Gronkowski was able to learn and grow as a player while learning from a respected senior.
"Being under Braden Wilson was huge, how much he taught me, so I think that helped a lot being able to learn from him," Gronkowski said.
Now that Wilson has graduated, Gronkowski is the starter at fullback. Many believe that Glenn has the most potential of all the Gronkowski brothers – even more than Pro-Bowl tight end Rob. Rob has set numerous NFL records, including most touchdowns by a tight end in a season. He also became the first tight end to lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns in a season.
The speculation surrounding what Gronkowski could do in his career is tremendous. There is no telling what he is capable of. K-State fans should just sit back and enjoy the ride. With all four years of eligibility remaining, Gronkowski can make himself a K-State legend.