Cards: Topps AAF Certified 2019, Topps AAF 2019, Panini Contenders 2015, Panini Contenders 2015 School Colors
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home. EBay, 2019
Sent: 4/26/19 Received: 5/23/19 (27 days)
I really had high hopes for Christian Hackenberg that he’d resurrect his career with the AAF in 2019. He’s been through a lot as a professional and has really put his best foot forward. He even worked with renowned quarterback coaches trying to fix a hole in his throwing motion.
In college at Penn State, he was tutored by future head coach Bill O’Brien. Hackenberg put together some solid numbers playing for the Nittany Lions throwing for 8,457 yards and 48 TDs to 31 interceptions over 3 years. After his junior season in 2015, he’d declare for the 2016 NFL draft, and while rumors swirled that he’d be selected possibly by his former coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans, the Jets ultimately chose him with the 51st pick of the second round where they planned to groom him as the franchise’s quarterback of the future. He rode the bench for the season, and then battled it out in camp during the 2017 season against Bryce Petty and Josh McCown. He had a decent preseason, but again saw no playing time.
Hackenberg then in 2018 was traded to the Raiders, but the trade was cancelled the next day, so he was released outright. A few months later he signed with the Eagles for the preseason, where he saw limited playing time. He’d be released before the regular season, and join the Bengals practice squad for a few months.
He’d opt to join the upstart Alliance of American Football in November of 2018, and was selected by the Memphis Express in the second round of the League’s quarterback Pick or Protect Draft. Hackenberg beat out first round pick Troy Cook, Brandon Silvers, and Zack Mettenberger in camp to nab the starting gig.
Hack then ran into a buzzsaw against the defensive minded Birmingham Iron his first week throwing for 87 yards and an interception on 10 of 23 passing. Memphis was shut out 26-0. Although the Express’ fares improved very slowly over the next two games, Christian wasn’t able to put the rock in the endzone through the air. He’d be benched in favor of Zack Mettenberger, then later passed up for Brandon Silvers, and ultimately in the end by Johnny Manziel. On the season, Hack finished 32 of 62 for 277 yards and 3 interceptions, while rushing for 47 yards on 9 carries- scoring one TD.
Christian was high on my list to get an autograph from, as he had a great selection of cards to choose from. He had these great AAF cards, and also some Panini cards I was itching to get signed at the next game, but before I could do so, the league folded.
My friend Mark, from Markssigningbonus.com came through for me on this collaboration passing this address forward to me so that I could give Hack another shot. He signed all 3 of my cards with his nice, loopy signature. I find it interesting that he abbreviates his first name to just ‘C.’. Also the C has a strong upper loop in it, and leans heavily to the right.
As the market collapsed on the AAF certified’s later in 2019, I was able to pick up his autograph. It’s a nice looking card of him and I hope he continues his football journey in whatever manner it may continue.