Christian Hackenberg, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Home/HS: Fork Union (VA)/Fork Union Military Academy
Starz 'n Sheetz
Stars: 4* (247Sports, Rivals), NR (Scout)
Offer sheet: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Miami, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington
Hackenberg is the elite quarterback that Coach O'Brien wanted in this class (and that Coach Fisher stated specifically they were looking for). He's a legit four-star (will he get that fifth star?), pro-style quarterback with great awareness and a strong arm.
Christian was on campus for the Junior Day a couple of weekends ago, and seemed to really come away impressed. Fortunately for Penn State, Ryan Burns also came away impressed. The two four-star, Virginia quarterbacks were (and continue to be) the only signal callers offered by Penn State, and many were watching closely to see who Penn State could land. It was, for all intents and purposes, a race to the commitment.
Hackenberg won that race when he told Lions247 ($) today that he committed to Penn State. He called Coach O'Brien last night to commit, but Coach London can also be praised for his recruitment.
We previously spoke with Christian, who is as down to earth as they come.
Hackenberg grew up in Pennsylvania, an early fan of the Nittany Lions, before moving to Virginia to attend Fork Union Military Academy. Both of his parents were Division 1 athletes, with his father playing football at Virginia and his mother attending Lehigh. In addition to inheriting their athletic prowess, Hackenberg is very interested in choosing a school with great academics, just like his parents.
"I'd have to say it's academics, then football. Both of my parents, one of them went to UVA and one of them went to Lehigh, they both had good educations. So that's what they're big on for me."
Additionally, and what's so exciting about this particular commitment, is that Hackenberg appears to be one of those lightning rod commitments; he is good friends with a number of Penn State recruits (including one Adam Breneman), and could end up being our Shane Morris (the first Michigan commitment who then became one of the Wolverines' top recruiters; the two are also pretty good QBs - Morris is No. 2 and Hackenberg No. 4 on 247Sports' Top Pro-Style QBs).
More from Keith Platt:
Hackenberg, a 4-star recruit according to Rivals, is a polished quarterback, who has the ability to make all of the necessary throws, including deep out patterns. In addition, while a traditional pocket passer, Hackenberg has shown the ability to scramble in order to avoid pressure and, if need be, pick up a few yards in the process. He has the size and skill level to be able to make plays downfield, even against some of the better B1G defenses. If he pans out, Hackenberg should solidify the turbulent quarterback position and make it a position of strength for the Nittany Lions.
While it is difficult to determine what kind of recruiter Bill O’Brien is at this stage of the game, Hackenberg’s commitment to Penn State is a positive for both O’Brien and the school. It shows that O’Brien is able to attract top-level recruits, while competing against other "name" schools. As to Penn State, as a whole, it shows that top level recruits will not hold "it" against the school at large. Thus, while it is still too early to judge, this signing could very well be a harbinger of great things to come.
Watch for any more news that comes out of Penn State, as it's just a matter of time before this class really starts rolling. Until then...
Welcome to Penn State, Christian!