Venice (Fla.) High tight end Aaron Hackett is a coveted prospect in the Sunshine State. He has a plethora of offers to choose from, and picked up another when Syracuse jumped into his recruitment on Tuesday.
There is an Orange connection as well. Hackett's position coach at Venice Senior High is former SU tight end Beckett Wales.
"I was definitely excited," Hackett said of the offer. "My tight end coach Beckett Wales was a starter at Syracuse a couple years ago, so it means a lot to get an offer from his alma mater.
"He was excited for me. He just told me how 'Cuse is such a great academic and athletic opportunity. That playing in the Dome was unreal."
Hackett says he and coach Wales have a strong relationship. One that has instrumental in his improvement as a player.
"He's been one of the most important parts in my development as a tight end," Hackett said. "He's helped me take steps to fully prepare myself to be able to play at the next level. He's a great role model to learn from."
The offer came when Hackett called Syracuse tight ends coach Reno Ferri. While the relationship is in its infant stages, the 6-foot-3 tight end already has a strong impression of the Orange coach.
"Syracuse has been pretty recent in my recruiting," he said. "I just started talking to them about two weeks ago. Today (Tuesday) was my first time speaking with coach Reno. He seems like a great coach who has great knowledge and really understands the game and position he is coaching.
"He just said that he likes that I'm a versatile tight end who can block and catch. He also said how they will be graduating a couple tight ends soon so it'd be a great opportunity to come in and play early."
Hackett says he does not think he will be able to get to Central New York this summer, but is hoping to do so this fall. In fact, it could potentially be done with Beckett Wales to attend a game in the Carrier Dome.
The three-star prospect says he does not have a specific leader, but has a group of schools currently standing out. They include FAU, Marshall, Minnesota, Louisville, Syracuse and UCF.