Christian Hackenberg has a big-name supporter in his corner.
Joe Namath, who was one of the few great New York Jets quarterbacks in franchise history, wants to see the former B1G Freshman of the Year under center in 2017.
“I’d like to see Hackenberg get a shot, and I’d like to see him win the job,” Namath told reporters at a charity event in New York via ESPN. “That would give us the [hope of], ‘Hey, lookie here. Maybe we don’t do it this year, but boy, we’ll get ready next year. We’ll get ready the year after that.’”
Contrary to what many predicted, the Jets did not draft a quarterback in 2017. That meant Hackenberg, who was a second-round pick in 2016, was one of three Jets quarterbacks on the roster.
Hackenberg, Bryce Petty and Josh McCown will all battle for the starting job this offseason. And while Hackenberg was only active for one game in 2016, Namath is hoping that he’s the quarterback of the future.
“I’m not wishing Josh (McCown) any bad luck, but I certainly would like to see Hackenberg blossom,” Namath added.
McCown is 37 years old and Petty is a former fourth-round pick who hasn’t won the starting job before. All signs point to the Jets seeing what they have in Hackenberg before entering a 2018 NFL draft that’s already been billed as quarterback-heavy.
Now Hackenberg just needs to get his head coach in his corner.