Christian Hackenberg's college career is over. Penn State's junior quarterback announced on Saturday afternoon his intention to declare for the 2016 NFL Draft, meaning that he will forego his senior season in Happy Valley. Here is a video of Hackenberg's announcement, in which he says that he bleeds blue and white:
Hackenberg came to Happy Valley as a five-star prospect out of Fork Union Military High School in Fork Union, Va. He was the No. 13 overall prospect and the second-best quarterback in his class, per his 247 composite score.
His freshman year was the greatest for a first-year quarterback in Penn State history. Under the tutelage of Bill O'Brien, Hackenberg went 231-for-392, good for a 58.9% completion percentage, with 2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. The Nittany Lions went 7-5 that year with arguably the two biggest wins of Hackenberg's collegiate career: at home in four overtimes against Michigan and on the road against Wisconsin when the Nittany Lions were 24-point underdogs.
Hackenberg wasn't able to reach that level of success as a sophomore or a junior, but there were still plenty of occasions that showed why he is such a tantalizing NFL prospect. Still, he will leave Happy Valley as the most prolific passer in school history, as he is Penn State's all-time leader in passing yards (8,457) and touchdowns (48).
We're going to have a lot more on Hackenberg's career over the coming days, but for now: thanks for everything, Christian. Go win a few Super Bowls.