Trying to figure out Penn State’s "best offensive player" in 2014 is a bit tough because, you know, the offense sucked most of the time. Sure, there were moments where the offense inexplicably turned into an unstoppable juggernaut, but for the most part, it was just a lot of turnovers, runs for no gain and screen passes. OH GOD. THE SCREEN PASSES. I REPRESSED THIS.
Anyway, here are your three nominees for Penn State’s 2014 Offensive Player of the Year:
- Sam Ficken, PK
- Christian Hackenberg, QB
- DaeSean Hamilton, WR
Yes, we considered Sam Ficken an offensive player, and with good reason. He missed one field goal that went past the line of scrimmage and went 24-for-29 on the season. Ficken also kicked more field goals than PATs (28) this year, which is amazing and a testament to how bad the offense was at times this season. Most importantly, Sam Ficken went from the goat-iest goat to ever goat during his sophomore season to an incredibly poised, clutch kicker as a senior. Kicker is a weird position — if you have a good one you usually take him for granted, and if you have a bad one he receives a TON of criticism — but Ficken was generally spectacular in 2014.
Christian Hackenberg’s sophomore campaign in Happy Valley wasn’t what anyone expected. Coming into the year, he was (probably unfairly) a dark horse candidate for the Heisman. He ended up throwing more interceptions than touchdowns and took a giant step back while he was getting used to a new offensive system. Despite this, Hack has an uncanny sense of "big moments," as he almost always seemed to shine when he needed to. And of course, there was his herculean effort in the Pinstripe Bowl: 34-for-50, 371 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. If he does this next year, then Penn State is going to have a special season.
The final candidate is DaeSean Hamilton, who kinda came out of nowhere and turned into a star. Sure, his two touchdown grabs weren’t ideal, but there were a myriad of factors that you can contribute his struggles to outside of "he didn’t perform." Besides, when Hamilton went off, he was insane. He had four games of 100+ yards, eight games with six or more catches and was essentially Penn State’s entire offense at times this year. His 14 catch, 126 yard effort against Ohio State was nothing short of brilliant, and his 11 catches and 165 yards against Central Florida made us all think that we were watching the next Allen Robinson. While those comparisons may be a touch off base, there’s no reason to think that BaeSean can’t be the next A-Rob if he continues to improve.
There are the candidates, what do you think? Vote in the poll below and discuss your choice/who else warrants inclusion in this discussion in the comment section.
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