Christian Hackenberg played in his very first game at Penn State as a true freshman and started every game in his three-year career in Happy Valley.
So he never had the chance to sit back, watch and learn — until now. As a rookie on the Jets, Hackenberg is listed as the fourth quarterback, and it’s unlikely that he’ll take a snap this season.
The second-round pick is making the most of his situation, telling PennLive that sitting on the bench is something he hasn’t been able to do before.
“It’s kind of always been thrown into the fire, sink or swim, and I’ve been fortunate enough to swim in most of the situations,” Hackenberg said. “So I think it’s really cool to be able to sit there, learn, be as prepared as I can be for when my chance and my opportunity does come. It just hasn’t necessarily come yet.”
Hackenberg completed only 36.2 percent of his passes in the preseason, throwing for 159 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown.
.@chackenberg1's 1st drive as a Jet?
7 plays, 75 YD — capped off w/ this beautiful TD pass.
Welcome to the NFL. ?https://t.co/IeX2lPQt60
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 28, 2016
At Penn State, Hackenberg had two inconsistent seasons after being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2013 under Bill O’Brien. In his Penn State career, Hackenberg threw for 8,457 yards, 48 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.