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Get to Know Your Orange Man: #89, TE Aaron Hackett

SU’s leading returner in receiving touchdowns looks to lead an offensive revolution

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 Western Michigan at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Name: Aaron Hackett

Position: Tight End

Year: Senior

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 245 lbs

Hometown: Venice, Fla.

High School: Venice

2019 stats: Hackett won Syracuse’s Bill Maxwell Award as the team’s most improved player on offense, and his numbers back up his well-deserved accolade. He became SU’s primary receiving tight end after Ravian Pierce’s graduation and logged 23 catches for 205 yards and six receiving TDs. Hackett grabbed the second-most receiving touchdowns on the Orange roster in 2019, behind Trishton Jackson’s 11.

2020 projections: Hackett is the leading returner in touchdowns and the second leading returner in receiving yards. The Orange need to make up 1,540 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns lost to the graduations of Jackson, Sean Riley, and Moe Neal. That should pave the way for Hackett to have a more prominent role on the offense, but he can’t get complacent. Backup tight end Luke Benson lurks in the shadows, and his numbers were just behind Hackett’s with 176 receiving yards and three receiving TDs.

How’d he get here?: Hackett committed to the Orange over in-state programs Florida Atlantic and UCF. He also chose SU over ACC foes Louisville and Wake Forest.

What’d recruiting sites say?: ESPN and 247Sports gave Hackett three stars, but Rivals only went with two stars. Boo them.

Money quote: Hackett’s offensive improvement may not be done yet. He’s still looking to be more dynamic with the ball in his hands.

“I wanted to be more dynamic with the ball in my hands,” Hackett said. “So anytime I’m catching a ball and it takes 2-3 people to bring me down, or I’m able to make a cut and gain yards after the catch. Whatever I can do to be labeled as a dynamic playmaker with the ball in my hands is something I definitely want to work on and I’m not where I want to be at yet.”

Twitter feed: @ahack3tt89

Tweets of wonder: What’s that? You’re breaking up and sound like you’re talking into a telephone from 1986.

What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Does Dino do Netflix? If so, “Extraction” would be a good fit. Babers wants his tight ends to be run-blockers first, so a movie about a soldier escorting a kid through a war-torn region should serve as inspiration to guide Abdul Adams to new heights.

That’s also my second Chris Hemsworth movie in a row. Weird.

Interesting nugget o’interest: Hackett’s tight end coach in high school was former ‘Cuse tight end Beckett Wells, who played in orange from 2010 to 2013. Wells had 523 career receiving yards and two career receiving touchdowns during his time in the dome.

Let’s get a look at ya: Syracuse’s media department makes great videos, especially personal highlight tapes for players. This one is no different.