On Mondays over the summer, The Juice Online is going to highlight individual players on the 2014 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling offensive tackle Sean Hickey.
Unfair or not, Syracuse is still living under the shadow of the Greg Robinson era.
It has been six years since Robinson was fired after a four year stretch from 2005-08 when SU went 10-37, but the stigma still remains.
“There is this persona or this image from the mid 2000s that’s still kind of hanging around when we were like a 1-and-11 team,” Syracuse offensive tackle Sean Hickey said. “People sometimes when they hear Syracuse they think of that, and I think recruits think of that, too, because they were growing up in that time when Syracuse — when they were starting to get introduced to football, Syracuse was like a 2-and-10 team.”
Fortunately, that dark era is in the past. The Orange has had a revival recently, as SU has won three bowl games in the last four years.
Hickey has been a key part of that turnaround. The offensive tackle has started 26 games in the last two seasons, and the redshirt senior wants one more bowl win. Three straight seasons of bowl games would not only cement Syracuse’s return to significance, but it would also be another step in bridging the gap between the Orange and the upper echelon teams in the ACC.
“It’s about us making the key point in the seasons back to back to back of winning bowl games, of having winning records, of improving and getting better that’s going to eventually bring more guys in,” Hickey said. “That’s really what we have to keep winning, and hopefully in years to come that gap slowly closes.”
Another bowl season certainly seems feasible, especially given the depth the Orange has up front.
Syracuse returns four starters on the offensive line, and Hickey raved about center John Miller, who replaces long time starter Macky MacPherson.
Said Hickey: “We have a depth we didn’t necessarily have last year with people being ready to play, and it’s exciting.”
Inside slant: Hickey nearly left Syracuse for the NFL after his redshirt junior season, but decided to return after he was projected in the third to fifth round. Hickey spent the offseason improving his lower body strength, which will do Syracuse — and his NFL draft stock — plenty of good.
- Birthdate: September 1991
- Hometown: Murrysville, Pa.
- High School: Franklin Regional HS
- Position: Offensive tackle
- Class: Redshirt senior
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 300 lbs
Career highlights: Hickey was named to the 2014 Preseason All-ACC Team earlier in July. He has made 26 straight starts and was named All-ACC Honorable Mention in 2013. This season, he’s on the watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.