Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg has landed on another preseason award watch list. The super sophomore has been named a candidate for the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the best quarterback in the nation. Last week, Hackenberg was named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given each year to the nation’s top overall player.
Coming out of high school, Hackenberg was highly recruited and the top quarterback prospect. He had received offers from pretty much every top program in the country, but chose to become a Nittany Lion, despite the program being placed under NCAA sanctions.
Starting as a true freshman in 2013, Hackenberg did not disappoint and certainly lived up to the hype that followed him out of high school. He broke 12 school freshman passing records and also tied former quarterback Matt McGloin for the school single season record of 300-yard passing games with six.
He finished the year with 2,955 passing yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Hackenberg earned several weekly honors throughout the season and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year at the end of the season.
The Davey O’Brien Award is named after the great quarterback who’s a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. It was first given out in 1977 to the most outstanding player in the Southwest. In 1981 it was changed to an award for quarterbacks and it’s been that way ever since.
Penn State has two winners of the O’Brien Award in its history. Former quarterback Kerry Collins won the honor during his supurb 1994 season and Todd Blackledge won the honor in 1982.
The Nittany Lions now have six players named to preseason watch lists for seven awards. Tight ends Jesse James and Kyle Carter are on the watch list for the Mackey Award, offensive tackle Donovan Smith is a candidate for the Outlany Trophy, linebacker Mike Hull is up for the Butkus Award and cornerback Jordan Lucas is a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award and the Bednarik Award.