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Christian Blaize Hackenberg (born February 14, 1995) is an American football quarterback for the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He played college football at Penn State, and was drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Following his stint in the NFL, Hackenberg was drafted by the Express in the second round of 2019 AAF QB Draft. Hackenberg is from Palmyra, Virginia and attended Fluvanna County High School for his freshman year before transferring to Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia. He was ranked as the best pro-style quarterback recruit by ESPN, and the second best pro-style quarterback recruit by Rivals.com.
Hackenberg with the Memphis Express in 2019
|No. 14 – Memphis Express|
|Born:|| (1995-02-14) February 14, 1995 (age 24)|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||228 lb (103 kg)|
|High school:||Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, Virginia)|
|NFL Draft:||2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 51|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Christian Blaize Hackenberg (born February 14, 1995) is an American football quarterback for the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He played college football at Penn State, and was drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Following his stint in the NFL, Hackenberg was drafted by the Express in the second round of 2019 AAF QB Draft.
Hackenberg is from Palmyra, Virginia and attended Fluvanna County High School for his freshman year before transferring to Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia. He was ranked as the best pro-style quarterback recruit by ESPN, and the second best pro-style quarterback recruit by Rivals.com.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Fork Union, VA||Fork Union Military Academy||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||212 lb (96 kg)||4.84||Feb 29, 2012|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout:|
|Overall recruiting rankings:|
Hackenberg committed to Penn State after being recruited by a tandem of Penn State coaches – quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher and running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Charles London, turning down offers from Alabama, UConn, Florida, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Scouted as a five-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, and the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the nation, Hackenberg was described as an accurate, drop-back passer with ample athleticism who had a high ceiling.
As a true freshman in 2013, Hackenberg was named the team's starting quarterback. In the first three games of the season, he twice earned Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week accolades, with a 72-percent completion percentage, 851 yards, 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. In a game against Eastern Michigan, he set the Penn State single-game record for passing yards by a freshman with 311 (previous record of 280 held by Zack Mills). Coach Bill O'Brien commended Hackenberg's leadership of the team, noting that the team fed off his calm demeanor, in contrast to O'Brien's fiery personality. He did note that Hackenberg made some mistakes typical of younger players, but he was on the fast track to grasping O'Brien's complex offensive schemes. Hackenberg was a five-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week and was named the 2013 Big Ten Football Freshman of the Year.
Hackenberg broke ten school freshman records, and one overall Penn State record in 2013.
On January 2, 2016, Hackenberg officially declared for the 2016 NFL Draft.
|NCAA career totals||38||38||685||1,221||8,318||56.1||48||31||121.4||207||-246||-1.2||6|
According to ESPN's Todd McShay, Hackenberg was the fifth-best quarterback among those eligible to enter the draft.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 4 in
|4.78 s||1.64 s||2.82 s||4.33 s||7.04 s||31 in
|9 ft 5 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
The New York Jets selected Hackenberg in the second round (51st overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. On May 12, 2016, the New York Jets signed Hackenberg to a four-year, $4.66 million contract featuring a $1.6 million signing bonus.
Hackenberg made his preseason debut on August 27, 2016 during the third preseason game against the New York Giants, where he completed 6 out of 16 passes for 105 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also played in the preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 1, 2016, where he was 11 for 31 with 54 passing yards and an interception returned for a touchdown.
Hackenberg began the regular season as the Jets' fourth-string quarterback. He was inactive for the first 15 regular season games, and was only active in the season finale due to a decimated depth chart. Throughout the season, he remained on the bench behind starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was benched for ineffective play, Geno Smith, who went on season-ending injured reserve list, and Bryce Petty, who also suffered a season-ending injury. Hackenberg did not play a down in the 2016 season.
Hackenberg started two preseason games and played in all four. In the first game against the Tennessee Titans, he was 18 of 25 for 127 yards and averaged 5.1 yards per attempt. Hackenberg got the start against the Detroit Lions in the second game and went 2 of 6 for 14 yards before being replaced by Petty in the first half. He also started in the Jets' third preseason game at the New York Giants, posting stats of 8/15 for 60 yards, and two pick sixes. He was replaced by Petty in the second half, but later returned after Petty was injured. In his second stint in the game, Hackenberg went 4 of 6 with a touchdown against the Giants' backups. Hackenberg came in for McCown in the final game against the Eagles. He finished 10 of 22 for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Hackenberg was beat out by Petty for the backup spot behind McCown during the preseason. Hackenberg was active as McCown's backup for the first game of the season due to Petty being injured, but moved to third string when Petty returned the next week. Hackenberg was inactive the duration of the Jets' season until McCown broke his hand week 14 at the Denver Broncos and was placed on injured reserve. Hackenberg was active the final three games as Petty's backup. He did not play a down in the 2017 season.
On May 22, 2018, the Jets traded Hackenberg to the Oakland Raiders for a conditional 2019 seventh-round pick. On June 12, 2018, Hackenberg was waived by the Raiders, and the trade with the Jets was negated. The next day, Hackenberg cleared waivers and became a free agent.
On September 3, 2018, Hackenberg was signed to the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad. On November 5, 2018, Hackenberg was released from the Bengals' practice squad.
In November 2018, Hackenberg participated in the Alliance of American Football's quarterback camp. Later in the month, he was drafted by the Memphis Express in the second round of the 2019 AAF QB Draft. Hackenberg struggled in his debut with the Express, completing just 10 of 23 passes for 87 yards and an interception before being pulled in the fourth quarter as the Express were shut out by the Birmingham Iron 26–0.
Memphis Express current roster