It used to be true freshmen, especially quarterbacks never saw the field at Penn State. That trend has certainly changed under current head coach Bill O’Brien. True freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg was named the starter over the summer and has never looked back. He faces a tough challenge on the road this week a Ohio State, but can really establish himself as a top quarterback with a victory.
Hackenberg has already shown that he can be counted on, bringing the Nittany Lions back late in the game and ultimately beating the Michigan Wolverines. With another marquee matchup this week at Ohio State, Hackenberg has a chance to build on what he did against Michigan and gain even more attention nationally.
For the season, the young signal-caller has thrown for 1,672 yards with 11 touchdowns. He is coming off back-to-back games in which he tossed three touchdown passes. In the last game against the Wolverines, he added a game-tying score on the ground late in regulation.
In high school, Hackenberg was highly sought after by many big-name colleges due to his arm strength and accuracy. In just six games, he’s shown flashes of what everyone expected to see from the 5-star recruit.
Hackenberg has had some games where he’s looked like a true freshman, making bad throws and careless mistakes. However, for the most part, he’s performed very well, showing a poise and a presence well beyond his age.
If the Nittany Lions are to pull off the upset on Saturday in Columbus, Hackenberg will likely play a key role. He’s going to have to be at the top of his game and limit the mistakes.
The game is being televised nationally in primetime. It’s a perfect opportunity for Hackenberg to showcase his talent and make an even bigger name for himself early in his collegiate career.
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