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Jake Hescock Brings Production, Experience, and Leadership to UCF Football

Jake Hescock has a chance to leave UCF after this year as one of the programs best overall tight ends in school history. The way he goes about his business, one will certainly root for this young man to do well during his final season in Orlando.

By Stephen Leonard

Orlando, Fla. - The start of fall camp brought about UCF Football media day on Tuesday, Aug. 3. Reporters were able to interview UCF players as well as Head Coach Gus Malzahn.

One of the players available to the media in the Nicholson Fieldhouse was sixth-year tight end Jake Hescock. Jake is now on his third staff at UCF. He played for then UCF Head Coach Scott Frost in 2017. He also played under the direction of Josh Heupel, the now University of Tennessee Head Coach after leading the Knights from 2018-2020.

Jake Hescock - #88

Jake Hescock

Jake Hescock, Tight End, UCF - Touchdown versus Stanford on Sep. 14, 2019

Vitals: 6’7”, 250-pounds

Position: Tight End

High School: Pittsfield (Mass.) / Salisbury School (Conn.)

Class: sixth-year

Being a Mentor

Now under Coach Malzahn, Hescock will be provided with an even bigger role as a mentor, with the Knights having five freshmen in the tight end room. Hescock is the only person that has started a game or received a pass while playing for UCF.

When asked about how he will use that leadership role to help the younger guys out, he replied, “Just being there for them, being a role model and somebody they can count on. They come to me with questions, concerns, anything that they need in terms of the game and even their personal life. Try to be a leader too and try to leave a legacy. You know, I want those guys to be a reflection of my last year here, and help them build a foundation to start a great career.” The younger tight ends will definitely have some big shoes to fill when Hescock leaves UCF. As for himself, he’s looking for a big senior campaign.

Big Finale

The tight end who had originally transferred to UCF from Wisconsin has seen his role increase every season, becoming a team captain in 2020 and is on the verge of breaking into the top five for yards by a tight end in Knights’ history. He talked a little about that legacy and how he wants to finish off his career.

“I think (Jordan) Akins is up there (UCF tight end from 2017-2020), and he’s gonna be a tough one to catch. And you know, especially wearing the 88 (jersey), I want to represent him and what he’s been able to do. Just trying to finish it strong, you know. It’s my last year, I want to really do all I can and have a great last year, that’s really what’s on my mind.”

In Coach Malzahn’s offense, there will be plenty of opportunities for Hescock and the other tight ends to produce big plays, yards, and touchdowns. The Spring Game showed Malzahn’s use of the tight ends -- both in the red zone and with short and intermediate routes -- to give the quarterback more options than throwing it deep or into the flats.

Playing Tight End Means More Than Catching the Football

With UCF’s ultra-quick and athletic wide receivers like Jaylon Robinson being threats in the screen game, plus a bevy of running backs that are capable of making plays with screens, Hescock will also be challenged to help spring them for big gains. Hescock appears to be mentally and physically ready to be a difference-maker even when he does not catch a pass, and that's an important aspect of playing the tight end position.

Dillon Gabriel & Jake Hescock, UCF

Tight end Jake Hescock protecting his quarterback, Dillon Gabriel

Red Zone Threat

Hescock is no stranger to the end zone with six scores to his credit with the Knights. With the outstanding group of UCF wide receivers he’s lining up with, plus Dillon Gabriel, look for Hescock to be available for a few easy touchdown catches this fall. Additionally, he could be a reliable outlet within the red zone because of his height. One cannot teach 6’7”. At some point, Gabriel will likely look for Hescock’s outstretched arms somewhere in the end zone. With a video, here's a closer look at what it means for Hescock to be successful this season:

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Final Thoughts

Overall, UCF fans should definitely be excited to see how the super senior tight end finishes off his career in Orlando. He’s been a part of several really good UCF teams as he’s learned to play college football. Now, Hescock is the leader of the tight ends and helps younger players learn their craft.

For UCF insights, college football news, and recruiting information go to my YouTube Channel and Podcast

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