Hackenberg Chooses His Own Path

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.15.03 AMHaving a high profile older brother who could be a high draft pick in the upcoming NFL draft is not an easy act to follow. But, Adam Hackenberg, the younger brother of Christian Hackenberg (Penn State QB), says he has his own path to follow. “Christian and I are very close and I am obviously very proud of him. He’s five years older than I and has always been a great role model. I have learned a lot from him and apply it to my goals”. He says having a celebrity brother has not been without its share of challenges, however. “I had a kid once tell me I would never be as good as Christian. But, I just used that as motivation. My dad always taught me to “just get the most out of what God gave me”. I may choose a slightly different path than Christian, but I can use the same principles and disciplines to get where I want to go”.

Hackenberg plays for Coach LaNeve’s nationally ranked 2018’s and will be a key player this summer at some of the top national events. He is primarily a catcher with MLB arm strength. LaNeve describes him as a “potential draft pick” in a few years. He is also a standout football player but says he is leaning toward baseball over football in college. “I definitely come from a football family. My dad and two uncles played football in college, and of course, Christian does, too. I like football, but I see myself playing baseball in college”. That’s good news for college recruiters because not only is Hackenberg a high level prospect, but he is just as gifted in the classroom.

Hackenberg, who attends Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, sports a 4.54 GPA. That is tops in his graduating class at a very competitive academic school. “I enjoy learning, especially here at Fork Union. I start studying after school around 5:30 pm and many nights I don’t finish until after 9:30 pm. We have a very unique curriculum. We take one class at a time for 35 days straight, then we switch to another class. Each year we have 5 classes”.

As one might expect at a Military Academy, there are a lot of disciplines built in to the experience. “We have to be at school by 7:20 am because of personal appearance inspection (PAI) before class.  Class starts at 8:00 am and you can’t be late. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday we wear our fatigues. On Tuesday’s and Thursdays we wear our dress uniforms”. Hackenberg says it’s not for everyone. “There are consequences to everything. Extra duty (ED) is the first line of disciplinary action when kids fall out of line. But, when kids don’t get it right for an extended period of time they are gone. Each year there are 15-20 kids who don’t make it because of disciplinary reasons”.

Hackenberg says there are 5 core values that Fork Union tries to instill in its cadets. “Respect, Integrity, Faith, Character, and Discipline. Those are staples here at Fork Union. You have to embrace those for this to be a good experience. We have chapel every Tuesday and Thursday and it really helps keep faith at the forefront of everything we do, which is the way it needs to be”.

Hackenberg says that playing for US Elite has been a great experience so far, and is looking forward to more this summer. “I enjoy the players on my team at US Elite. We have a lot in common. They are talented players, but more importantly they embrace the disciplines of the program. They definitely understand the concept of playing the game the right way. Coach LaNeve makes it fun, but still expects a lot. It’s a good combination”. Hackenberg says he is taking his time in the recruiting process and letting it happen naturally. “This organization helps its players get a lot of exposure and offers a lot of support during the recruiting process. We had a ton of college coaches watching us play last year, and even more will be watching this year. I’m looking forward to seeing which schools show interest in me and we’ll take it from there. Getting a quality education and playing baseball at a high level are the two most important things to me”.