With no real drama surrounding the award, the Big Ten has announced that quarterback Christian Hackenberg has received the Big Ten Freshman of the Year honor. Hackenberg finished the season connecting on 231 of 392 pass attempts, with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He racked up five Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors along the way to an extremely impressive true freshman campaign. In a true display of his progress throughout the season, Hackenberg saved his best for last. Against Wisconsin, owners of one of the nation's stingiest defenses, he passed for 339 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
"It's a great honor, but I have to give much of the credit to a lot of different guys throughout the year - the coaching staff, the receivers and the offensive line,” said Hackenberg. “This is something to build upon."
"He's had a remarkable year," O'Brien said. "To come here as an 18-year-old freshman with such high expectations and to be able to learn this offense and do the things we have asked him to do, I think he got better every game. He's got a chance to have a very special career at Penn State."
This is the second consecutive Freshman of the Year honor for Penn State after Deion Barnes collected the award in 2012. Curtis Enis is the only other Nittany Lion to take him this honor.
Congratulations, Hack. The future is very, very bright.
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