Christian Hackenberg’s days as a quarterback might be numbered, but now he’s trying to take his arm to a new sport.
Christian Hackenberg didn’t live up to the hype in the NFL (or the short-lived secondary football leagues that have been attempted the past two years), but that isn’t stopping him from trying to continue his career in professional sports.
According to Rob Kuestner of NBC 10 in Philadelphia, Hackenberg is trying to break into baseball as a pitcher. Kuestner notes that Hackenberg has a “real live arm” and it’s definitely not uncommon to see athletes play both the quarterback position and serve as a pitcher, as they both require a lot of arm talent.
Now, Hackenberg will try once again to make it into the world of pro sports, but this time in the sport of baseball.
“Simple as I can put it: I just want to compete, man,” Hackenberg told NBC Philadelphia. “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 did play baseball in high school, but served as a reliever. His numbers weren’t great, but he did have some pop with the bat. While it’s too soon to really know if he’ll amount to anything in baseball, we saw Tim Tebow attempt to live out his major league dreams, so anything is possible for athletes.
Hackenberg was a standout while at Penn State, throwing for 8,457 yards and 48 touchdowns in three years with the Nittany Lions. If it had been possible for freshmen to enter the NFL Draft, Hackenberg definitely would have done so and he could have been the number one overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Instead, he had to remain in College Park and his touchdown numbers went down each year. In fact, Hackenberg actually threw more interceptions than touchdowns as a sophomore in the 2014 college football season.
Even still, Hackenberg forewent his senior year and entered the 2016 NFL Draft, eventually getting picked in the second round by the New York Jets. Despite the early selection, Hackenberg never played a snap in the NFL and he had four different teams to try to make his mark with.
By the halfway point of the 2018 season, Hackenberg was out of the league and tried to make a name for himself in the AAF, but that went about as well as the league itself did.
Athletes attempting a new sport is nothing new and like Hackenberg said, he’s still very young and the guy is athletic even with his football shortcomings. If this doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t, but at least he could say he tried.
Who knows? Maybe Christian Hackenberg will be pitching for your favorite MLB team in the future.