The sophomore year is an important one for any major college athlete. One of two things happen: either they build on whatever they did as freshmen and set the tone for the rest of their college careers, or suffer the sophomore slump and take a minor step back.
Penn State's case study in that this year may be sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg. After lighting the Big Ten on fire last year to the tune of 231-for-392 (58.9 percent), 2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The next logical step forward is probably a 62 percent completion percentage, 3,200-ish yards, 25 touchdowns and 5-8 interceptions.
However, a year where Hack goes for a 59 percent completion percentage, 3,000 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions would probably be a bit of a disappointment, right? I think so.
There are arguments to be made for both sides. I think they look like this:
Build: He's another year improved, the running game will still be awesome and will take tons of pressure off of him, he has the best TE unit in America at his disposal, the new offense will almost certainly be built around what he can do.
Slump: Here is a picture of the offensive line, the wide receiver corps has potential but isn't really used to game action yet, the running game will be the focal point of the team because Back Zwelton is awesome, James Franklin and co. wants to protect him for the future.
LET'S GET TO THE BOLD QUESTION.
How will Christian Hackenberg perform in 2014? Will he build on the success he had in 2013, or will he take a minor step back? Why? What do you expect his numbers to look like next year? Do you define that as a success, a failure, or something in between?