Former NY Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg is attempting a comeback as a baseball pitcher.
Hackenberg showed potential during his time at Penn State, but remained a polarizing prospect right up until the 2016 NFL Draft. That’s when the Jets shockingly selected Hackenberg — a Day 3 prospect by most outlets — with the 51st overall pick in the draft.
Needless to say, that would probably be the highlight of Hackenberg’s professional career.
Hackenberg would never play a regular-season game in the NFL toiling around on the Jets roster for a couple of seasons before being shipped to the then-Oakland Raiders in May of 2018.
He would last just a few weeks with the Raiders before getting a shot with the Philadelphia Eagles the following preseason and then the Memphis Express of the short-lived Alliance of American Football.
Evidently, that’s not how Hackenberg foresaw his football career going. And at this point, it’s doubtful he ever plays the game with a professional organization again.
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But that doesn’t mean that his career in sports is over.
Former NY Jets QB Christian Hackenberg is starting his second career as a pitcher.
Hackenberg recently told John Clark of NBC Philadelphia that he’s attempting a comeback as a pitcher taking his talents to the world of baseball.
At one time, Hackenberg wasn’t only a top-level football recruit but a highly-touted baseball prospect. The former Penn State quarterback played ball at Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia, but fared significantly better as a hitter.
Hackenberg batted .378 with 10 home runs in 148 at-bats during his time at Fork Union while struggling as a pitcher recording a 7.56 ERA in 25.2 innings pitched. He did manage to strike out 33 batters — but he walked 40 and hit five batsmen.
It looks like his pitching resembled his quarterback play in a lot of ways.
Nonetheless, Hackenberg still feels that he could compete at a professional level and he still believes there’s more left in his athletic career.
“Simple as I can put it: I just want to compete, man. I’ve kind of had my trials and tribulations with the NFL, and had success and had that roller-coaster ride. At the end of the day, I’m sitting here at 25. For me … I feel like I’ve got a lot left in the tank.”
Hackenberg will look to follow in the steps of another former Jets quarterback — Tim Tebow — in forging a second career in baseball following the shortcomings of his football career.
While many will always see him as the butt end of a bad joke, Hackenberg will hope to put his past behind him and find success in the world of baseball.