Penn State: Christian Hackenberg has learned from adversities

Chris Franklin takes a closer look at Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg and his 1-0n-1 with gopsusports.com

Chris Franklin takes a closer look at Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg and his 1-0n-1 with gopsusports.com

(C+P) — He has been through two head coaching changes. He stayed through a time where accusations were made, and a program was punished. He stayed and helped his team become bowl-eligible. This is a lot for one player to go through in an entire colligate career. For Christian Hackenberg, it happened in only two years. He is returning to Penn State as a junior and this season is shaping up to be a crucial one for the quarterback from Lehighton, Pa.

Penn State, like many other schools around the country, are in the middle of spring practices.

“Offensively, we are really focusing on a lot of things that we learned from last year,” said Hackenberg in an interview with gopsusports.com, the Penn State Athletics website. “Taking the things that we did well and building on them. Also, taking the negatives that we had and find the time whether it be during individual periods or team periods.”

NCAA Football: Temple at Penn State
Nov 15, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Temple Owls at Beaver Stadium. (Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports)

In 2013, his freshman season, he threw 20 touchdown passes to ten interceptions. After Penn State head coach James Franklin took over Bill O’Brien, Hackenberg, along with others, struggled at times in the new offense. His numbers regressed, throwing 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. With another year in the system, he figures to be more comfortable.

“I feel like I had my mind on many different things last year, spread out throughout the entire offense last year. Now, with everyone coming along and taking those steps, I can focus more on myself and be a little selfish this spring and work on what I need to work on because there are things that I can do there.”

Considered to be one of the top college prospects in the FBS, Hackenberg will have a chance to prove it against tough defenses from Ohio State, Michigan State and Temple. Hackenberg is preparing himself for these upcoming challenges.

“Whether it be Mondays making sure I’m doing well with my footwork and mechanics to Tuesdays making it a big focus on my reads and Mike points and making sure they are all sharp and on point and Saturdays making sure I have everything on point pre-snap reads post snap confirmations and going out there and execute. So for me, it’s just continuing that process and getting better at all of those things. For me, it’s continuing that process at getting better at all those things and at the same time being able to work on my individual game and make sure that is improving because I know these guys are going to hold me to a high standard because I’m doing the same to them”

The Nittany Lions will culminate their spring with the Blue-White Game April 18.

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