Christian Hackenberg Talks Development, Preparation For 2015 At Media Day
Junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg took the podium Thursday, discussing a number of topics ranging from his comfort level going into 2015-16, how he’s prepared for the upcoming season, and much more. He did not, however, speak on his future past this season — referring to his eventual NFL career — beginning with a statement asking the media to kindly refrain from asking any questions of the nature.
A hot topic of discussion was the fact that Hackenberg, along with the rest of the team’s offensive unit, is entering year two in John Donovan’s offensive system. Hackenberg acknowledged the benefits, noting that he felt an element of comfort heading into 2015. Hackenberg also acknowledged the various ups and downs he’s ridden during his time in Happy Valley, saying that it’s all about maintaining a certain state of mind, and just applying what he’s learned into 2015.
“There are a lot of ups and downs,” Hackenberg said. “You just have to learn from them and move forward. I try and make sure I’m focused on the task at hand, and I want to take those lessons and apply what I’ve learned from them.”
Hackenberg also touched on his relationship with defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, and how important he’s been to his development.
“Coach Shoop is one of the best that does it in the business,” Hackenberg said. “So for me to have a resource like that and not use it, that would be a failure on my end. I pick his brain to see how he attacks certain things, and how I can use my knowledge to help with certain things.”
Hackenberg stated that he maintains a relationship with all of his coaches, as it helps him fully grasp every single element of the team. He then briefly touched on his experience at the Elite 11 camp, and how great of an experience it was to work with young high schoolers that were once in his position, and transfer some of his knowledge onto them.
Overall, Hackenberg exuded the type of confidence everyone has come to expect from the junior gunslinger, while maintaining an element of positivity after what many label a tumultuous season offensively. He seems excited about having a bevy of offensive talent surrounding him — including a wide receiver in DaeSean Hamilton who led the Big Ten in receptions last season — while feeling confident in his own abilities, after taking significant strides in his own development.
The future beyond this season may seem cloudy — given the uncertainty surrounding whether he will forgo his senior season or not — but the future seems brighter than ever. Only time will tell if Hackenberg truly has learned from past experiences, but there’s no reason not to be excited about Penn State football in 2015 — specifically the man playing under center.