Christian Blaize Hackenberg (born February 14, 1995) is an American football quarterback for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State, and was drafted by the Jets in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Early years

Hackenberg 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, [4] and the second best pro-style quarterback recruit by [5]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Christian Hackenberg
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: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN grade: 88
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note : In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • .

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. [5] Scouted as a five-star recruit by both and, 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. [6]

College career

As a true freshman in 2013, Hackenberg was named the team's starting quarterback. [7] 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). [8] 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. [9] Hackenberg was a five-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week and was named the 2013 Big Ten Football Freshman of the Year. [18]

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. [11]


NCAA career statistics
Penn State Nittany Lions
Season Passing Rushing
GP GS Comp Att Yards Pct. TD Int QB rating Att Yards Avg TD
2013 12 12 231 392 2,955 58.9 20 10 134.0 49 −68 −1.4 4
2014 13 13 270 484 2,977 55.8 12 15 109.4 93 −94 −1.0 0
2015 12 12 184 345 2,386 53.3 16 6 123.8 65 −84 −1.3 2
NCAA career totals 37 37 685 1,221 8,318 56.1 48 31 121.4 207 -246 -1.2 6

Source : [10]

Professional career

According to ESPN's Todd McShay, Hackenberg was the fifth-best quarterback among those eligible to enter the draft. [12]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad
6 ft 4 in
(1.93 m)
223 lb
(101 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.78 s 1.64 s 2.82 s 4.33 s 7.04 s 31 in
(0.79 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
All values from NFL Combine [13]

The New York Jets selected Hackenberg in the second round (51st overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. [3] 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. [14]

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. [19] 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. [20]

Hackenberg began the regular season as the Jets' fourth-string quarterback. [21] 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. [22] Hackenberg did not play a down in the 2016 season. [23]