Christian Hackenberg is betting on his big right arm to revive his pro sports career.
It just won’t be in football.
The former Jets quarterback, during an interview with NBC 10 in Philadelphia on Saturday, said he is trying to become a pitcher. According to a social media video posted by the network, Hackenberg was throwing at more than 90 miles per hour.
“As simple as I can put it, I just want to compete man,” Hackenberg said. “I’ve had my trials and tribulations with the NFL. Had success and had that rollercoaster ride.” “At the end of the day, I’m sitting here at 25, and for me, like I said, I feel like I got a lot left in the tank.”
The former Penn State star does have a baseball background, having played in high school at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. There he struck out 30 batters in 47 games and hit .378 during three seasons, according to MaxPreps. He is currently working with Ryan Kulik, the head baseball coach at Rutgers University Camden, who was drafted by the Cardinals in 2008,
Hackenberg may have to wait until 2021 to make professional baseball a reality with this year’s minor league season canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hackenberg never played in an NFL regular season game after being drafted in the second round (51st overall) by the Jets and then-GM Mike Maccagnan in 2016. Though the 6-foot-4, 228-pounder is known for his big arm, he struggled with his decision making and accuracy. He bounced around the NFL between the Raiders, Eagles and Bengals before being out of the NFL prior to the 2018 regular season.
Hackenberg did get a second chance in football in 2019 with the Memphis Express of the short-lived Alliance of American Football league, but it took him less than three games to lose his starting job. Hackenberg went 32-of-62 passing for 277 yards, three interceptions and no touchdowns in two and a half games — all of which were Memphis losses.