As he left the University of Wisconsin’s campus last weekend, Salisbury (CT) High tight end Jake Hescock knew where he ultimately wanted to play college football. His dad knew it, too, but they both just wanted to make sure the extended family was OK with him being a Badger.
“I came home and we told the whole family all about it,” Hescock told BadgerNation. “We weighed some of the pros and cons of the other schools and it definitely came out 100 percent Wisconsin. We were all ready for it, supported it and it’s definitely the right decision.”
That cleared the way for the 6-7, 230-pound prospect to continue Wisconsin’s recruiting hot streak in the month of June when he announced his verbal commitment Friday afternoon. Hescock represents the eighth commit for the Badgers this month, all coming in the last 18 days, and the 13th overall.
He is also the first player from Connecticut to commit to Wisconsin since offensive lineman John Moffitt in October 2005.
“I played last year against Christian Wilkins (Clemson signee), who was one of the best defensive tackles in the country; I played against Zachary Kastenhuber (Harvard verbal), who is one of the best linebackers in the country, and Koby Quansah (Duke verbal),” said Hescock. “We see a lot of competition in the prep league, so my move from public to prep was definitely a good idea. My coach has prepared me to move on to the Big Ten and play against some better teams.”
Although finishing with only 15 catches for roughly 350 yards and a touchdown, Hescock’s blocking helped his teammate become the MVP of the league with over 1,500 rushing yards. Wisconsin tight end coach Mickey Turner – who recruited Hescock – told him he could fit either tight end position in head coach Paul Chryst’s offense.
“He was pretty excited,” said Hescock. “I know I was feeling it while I was on my visit. I was going to commit then, but my dad told me to wait. When we left, (Turner) was like, ‘We want you bad. You’re going to be the only tight end we sign for this class.’ That got me pretty excited, too, knowing I was going to be the only one. We had a pretty good relationship over the past couple of months, and I think he’s pretty excited that I get to spend the next four years with him.”
Two of the things that stood out to Hescock during his unofficial visit was the Badgers’ offense – big on multiple tight end sets – and the school’s strength and conditioning program. Over the next year, Hescock’s main focus will be adding strength to his frame and improving his blocking techniques.
“I was watching film with Coach Turner and even some of the guys on his film weren’t big guys, but they were blocking guys double their size because of their technique,” said Hescock. “I have to work on that this offseason and during the season. I’ll be able to lift all fall, winter and spring, so I’ll be ready.”
Since he was offered by the Badgers in the spring, Hescock has been hearing the recruiting pitches from a handful of Wisconsin commits. He’s now relieved to be able to call them his teammates.
“They’ve been encouraging me, saying to look at our class and that they want me to be a part of it,” said Hescock. “I do want to be a part of it, and I’m thrilled.”