Christian Hackenberg Drafted Into New Spring Football League
The Memphis Express of the recently-founded Alliance of American Football selected Christian Hackenberg in the second round of the new league’s quarterback-only draft on Tuesday night.
Hackenberg’s arrival in the spring league comes after a tumultuous 2018 that saw him land on four different NFL rosters or practice squads. Since the Jets selected him in the 2016 NFL Draft second round, he still hasn’t played a regular season down in the pros.
The AAF is the latest in a line of USFL/XFL-wannabe leagues — creating ~edgy~ new rules for the sport like no kickoffs, shorter games and play clocks, and only two-point conversions after touchdowns to eliminate extra points.
The league was founded in March of 2018 and will have eight teams during its inaugural season, which will launch in February after the Super Bowl and run for 10 weeks.
Memphis will play its games at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, home of the Memphis Tigers college team. The Express are coached by former San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary.
The Express had six allocated quarterbacks on its roster originally, including former Penn State quarterback Tyler Ferguson — who transferred to Louisville and later Western Kentucky after Hackenberg beat him out for the Penn State starting job in 2013.
Memphis protected two of those allocated players, choosing former UT-Martin quarterback Troy Cook in the first round and former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the fourth round. The fourth quarterback on the roster is former Troy standout Brandon Silvers, who the Express took in the third round.
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“When they call my name on graduation day, and I stand up and cross that stage, I know in my heart that this has been a collaborative effort.”
Blazer testified that he was contacted by a Penn State assistant in 2009 who was the father of one of Blazer’s NFL clients. The assistant asked Blazer to pay a player $10,000 so that he would not enter the NFL Draft. Blazer complied, handing a $10,000 check to the father of that player, but the player ended up in the 2009 NFL Draft and was selected No. 11 overall.
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