Despite his poor performance at the NFL scouting combine, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg was brought in for a formal interview by the Texans
When Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was still roaming the sidelines for the Penn State Nittany Lions, he and his then-freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg were turning heads. The hand-picked signal caller for O’Brien looked to be the next big thing in the NCAA as he threw for 2,955 yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a true freshman.
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Following that season, O’Brien bolted for Houston and Hackenberg began to struggle mightily on the field. He never seemed to build a good rapport with O’Brien’s replacement, James Franklin, a point driven home by Hackenberg thanking everyone for his time at Penn State except for Franklin.
It could have been a shift in philosophies, or maybe he and Franklin’s rocky relationship hampered the trust needed to perform on the field. Or could it be that Hackenberg simply isn’t as good as once advertised and O’Brien knew how to work around his flaws?
Hackenberg didn’t do a ton to disprove the notion that he isn’t a polished passer at the NFL combine this weekend. While throwing passes in shorts and a t-shirt, Hackenberg looked to feel the pressure of everyone watching and sailed several passes. He wasn’t on target, and receivers had to work extra hard to come down with the passes he was throwing their way.
Still, the Texans may not have been turned off completely as they were one of the teams to sit down with the quarterback who measured in at 6-foot-4 and 228 pounds at that same combine according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
"“I think it would be a great opportunity,” Hackenberg said when asked about the possibility of playing for O’Brien again. “But at the end of the day, I’m here just trying to be the best prospect I can be and impress as many football teams as I can.”"
It’s telling that the Texans would use a formal interview on a guy O’Brien already had a relationship with. The dots have been connected ever since the coach moved on from Penn State and a reunion could still happen. Perhaps the quarterback guru can work his magic with Hackenberg and make everyone forget his struggles during his post-O’Brien career.