Just as Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill announced his decision to transfer from the Aggies with Texas Christian University listed as a potential landing spot, the Horned Frogs received another, less exciting piece of news, as junior safety Chris Hackett announced his decision to forego his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.
Hackett’s decision isn’t all that surprising given how many juniors opt out early every year, and it’s just another reminder of how fast the turnover rate of players in college football is.
“I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, professors and the TCU fans for their unwavering support,” Hackett said in a statement. “Coming to TCU was an incredible opportunity that I will always cherish. I’ve dreamed of playing in the NFL for as long as I can remember, and I am ready to move on to the next stage of making that a dream a reality.”
The 6’2″, 195 pound safety redshirted his freshman year, but in his three years as a starter for TCU, Hackett accounted for 12 interceptions, 224 tackles, five forced fumbles, and broke up 16 passes in three seasons — with 75 tackles and seven interceptions in 2014 alone.
Most of the players TCU are losing due to declarations are seniors. However, there is some serious depth at the safety position for April 2015’s Draft, including TCU senior, Sam Carter.
The average size and speed for NFL free safeties is 5’10”, 195 pounds, with a 4.55-40 time. Hackett’s average 40 is 4.64, so while his size is in the competitive range, he has to improve his speed to match the things that are in his favor: ball skills and instincts.
Multiple news outlets have reported that Hackett’s father, Michael, said Chris will be training at a facility in Orlando, Fla.
It will be interesting to see if he’s added to any exhibition bowl game rosters given the timing of his announcement, as the Medal of Honor Bowl is on Jan. 10, followed by the East-West Shrine Game, and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowls, scheduled for Jan. 17 in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Los Angeles, Calif., respectively.
The deadline to declare for the NFL Draft is Jan. 19, 2015.
*Section Photo credit to Cooper Neill, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports.