Ex-Eagles training camp QB resurfaces as coach in South Jersey originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Christian Hackenberg’s career has taken a bunch of twists and turns - from NFL 2nd-round pick to Eagles training camp to the Memphis Express of the AAF to a pitcher’s mound in South Jersey.
Hackenberg’s latest venture is coaching.
Winslow Township High School, a powerhouse football program in South Jersey, has hired the 26-year-old Hackenberg as its quarterbacks coach:
“Having an opportunity to work with kids and do it on a consistent basis, that excites me, and at the end of the day, it comes down to sharing experiences,” Hackenberg told the Courier-Post newspaper of Cherry Hill. “Taking all my experiences, the good, bad, ugly, and being able to talk to those guys and give them guidance on their path."
Winslow’s offensive coordinator, Bill Belton, played at Winslow and went on to play at Penn State from 2011 through 2014 and was one of Hackenberg’s top wide receivers during their two years together. Belton was in training camp with the Jets in 2015.
Hackenberg, 26, was 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and went 21-17 in three years as Penn State’s starting quarterback. The Jets made him their second-round pick in 2016, but he never played in a regular-season game. He was traded to the Raiders in the spring of 2018 and released, then signed by the Eagles early in training camp.
He played in one preseason game for the Eagles - at the Linc against the Jets on Aug. 30, 2018 - and went 7-for-16 for 69 yards with two interceptions. His longest completion was a 25-yarder to Donnel Pumphrey.
The Eagles waived him on Sept. 1 and he spent a couple months on the Bengals’ practice squad before he was released. He went on to play in three games for the Express of the Alliance of American Football, throwing three INTs and no touchdowns and playing for Hall of Famer Mike Singletary. He was benched in favor of Zach Mettenberger before the league folded.
Hackenberg is the only quarterback drafted in the first two rounds in the last 40 years that never played a snap in the NFL.
Last summer, Hackenberg resurfaced in the Delaware Valley working on his pitching mechanics at a baseball training site in Vineland with hopes of pursuing a professional baseball career.
Winslow's football team went 5-1 this past season and was ranked No. 6 in South Jersey.
Among the Winslow alumni who have played in the NFL are receiver Lee DeRamus, who was with the Saints in the 1990s; running back Shonn Green, who spent 2009 through 2014 with the Jets and Titans; and defensive back Jeromy Miles, who was with the Bengals and Ravens from 2010 through 2014.
Winslow’s nickname is the Eagles.
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