Mac Hippenhammer Steals The Show At Blue-White Weekend
Redshirt freshman Mac Hippenhammer spent his fall honing his baseball skills under the direction of head coach Rob Cooper. On Saturday, he stole the show at the Blue-White spring football game.
Mac Hippenhammer celebrates his second score of the day with his teammates. pic.twitter.com/DNJCxMzys4
— Onward State (@OnwardState) April 21, 2018
Hippenhammer hauled in four passes for 43 yards and two scores, pacing the Blue team to a 21-10 victory over the White squad in Penn State’s annual spring game. His 29-yard score late in the fourth quarter put the result of the game to bed and ensured yet another victory for the Blue squad.
Being a multiple-sport athlete is difficult at any level, but doing it in college would be too much to ask of a lot of athletes. Hippenhammer has taken on his role as a wideout for James Franklin’s team in stride, putting together a strong spring that was capped off by a standout performance at Beaver Stadium.
No. 12 expressed his desire to play two sports at Penn State throughout his recruitment and James Franklin was open to the idea and allowed Hippenhammer to give it a try this season.
“That was part of the recruiting process for him,” Franklin said postgame. “He wanted to play baseball. Being a student at Penn State is challenging. Being a student and playing football is really, really challenging.”
Franklin was willing to allow Hippenhammer to become a multi-sport athlete in an age where that simply doesn’t happen at the collegiate level under one condition: he had to excel in the classroom.
“I said, ‘Look, I’m open to it, but it’s all going to come down to how you do academically,'” he said. “He crushed it in the classroom, did better than I anticipated. Once spring ball started, we shut him down for baseball because he’s on a football scholarship, and now once spring ball ended, he’ll go back to doing baseball on top of his academic responsibilities.”
The sophomore from Fort Wayne, IN, can count on the support of his teammates on both the gridiron at Beaver Stadium and the diamond at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Redshirt junior Garrett Taylor did not go against Hippenhammer, as both players featured on the Blue squad, but he was impressed with what he saw out of the utility man-turned-wideout.
“I was really proud of Mac,” Taylor said. “Obviously he was juggling the whole baseball-football thing this winter, but he’s been pretty consistent all spring. I think he did a really good job and I was happy for him. Penn State fans can come to expect a lot from him.”
Trace McSorley was on the other end of Hippenhammer’s first touchdown of the day — a five-yard toss that opened the scoring early in the first quarter — was impressed with the receiver’s work ethic. No. 12 didn’t take any time off between his transition from baseball to football, a fact indicative of his personality on and off the field.
“He’s a hard worker,” McSorley said. “He’s going to keep himself going. He didn’t miss a spring practice this year, I don’t think he missed a winter workout. He was up at 4:30 with us running and in the afternoon he was doing batting practice with the baseball team. It’s incredible what he’s doing. His athletic ability is through the roof.”