PITTSFIELD >> Jake Hescock barely had time to get his Salisbury School diploma framed before it was off to college.
Hescock, who graduated from Salisbury on June 3, will be fully moved in at the University of Wisconsin in Madison this weekend, as he begins his college football career with the Badgers.
"I'm extremely excited," Hescock told The Eagle just before he left for the Midwest. "I've been waiting for this for a year now.
"I've gotten the chance to be a celebrity in town," he said with a laugh. "I've had a chance to do all that. It's a humbling moment. I'm going to go and finally compete and see what it's all like."
Hescock, a Pittsfield native, was part of Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst's recruiting class. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound tight end was a three-star recruit on Scout.com, Rivals.com and ESPN.com. He was listed as the No. 2 tight end in Connecticut, the No. 8 tight end in the East and the No. 44 tight end in the country.
Playing at Salisbury for head coach Chris Phillips and former Williams College tight end Jonathan Siff, his position coach, Hescock caught 23 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He was named the NEPSAC player of the year.
Hescock signed his letter of intent with Wisconsin in February.
Hescock's parents Jeff and Carey are taking the 16-hour drive with the Badger recruit to Madison. They left on Thursday. Once there, he will take some classes and work out with his teammates in preparation for the opening of summer camp in August.
But it wasn't like the last few weeks of Hescock's high school career were uneventful. Far from it.
"It's been a lot of tough work" getting ready for the preseason, he said. "A lot of running and lifting every day. I've been going through their program. I think I'm ready to go there and show them what I'm made of."
The Badgers open their season on Saturday, Sept. 3, when they play LSU at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Wisconsin has road games at Michigan State and Michigan, while playing Ohio State and Nebraska, among others, at Camp Randall Stadium.
"I couldn't even imagine going to Michigan State and Michigan this year," he said. "We open up with LSU at Lambeau Field on Sept. 3, and that's going to be a crazy game.""
From the time Hescock signed his national Letter of Intent until now, he has been in touch with the coaches at Wisconsin, from head coach Chryst to tight ends coach Mickey Thomas. Most of it, Hescock said, was around paperwork and the like.
"But they're excited to get me up there and I'm excited to get up there," the future Badger tight end said. "It's going to be a good four or five years."
Hescock said he isn't sure if, like former Mount Greylock football standout Jake Benzinger, there is a redshirt year in his future. Hescock said he might not know about that until August.
If Hescock is redshirted, he would not play any games this fall, but would still have four years of eligibility.
Once arriving in Madison, Hescock said he would be taking a pair of six-week courses to get a head start on academics in the fall. He'll be doing a lot of weightlifting and working out in preparation for the start of summer camp, which opens in the beginning of August.
This will be even a change from going to Connecticut for prep school, but Jake Hescock says he's set for the challenge.
"I'm not going to be home any more with my parents," he said. "It's a whole new different lifestyle that I'm going to be living.
"But I'm definitely ready for it."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.