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Massachusetts coach Mark Whipple said Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg will be the No. 1 overall pick when he enters the draft.

"He's going to be the first player picked. If he could come out this year, he'd be the first player picked," Whipple said, adding that Hackenberg "just can make every throw. ... He's just got it all." Whipple was the Steelers' QB coach during Ben Roethlisberger's first three seasons in the league, and he has also been an offensive assistant with the Eagles and Browns (2011-12). Whipple's UMass squad travels to Penn State on Saturday. We'd accuse him of buttering Hackenberg up, but he's not the only one saying these things. A veteran AFC scout said last week that Hackenberg is "the top QB in college football," and NFL.com wrote that he is "generating the most buzz with NFL scouts" amongst quarterbacks.
Source: NFL.com
Sep 16 - 9:19 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 25-of-44 attempts for 309 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in a nail biting 13-10 win over Rutgers on Saturday.

The Nittany Lions didn't score until there was less than four minutes left in the third quarter, but still managed to pull out the victory behind a dominant defensive effort (five interceptions). Hackenberg struggled, but picked up his play when it mattered, leading the school to a game-winning, six-play, 80-yard drive with two passes that accounted for 76 yards to Geno Lewis. A veteran AFC scout said last week that Hackenberg is "the top QB in college football," and NFL.com wrote that he is "generating the most buzz with NFL scouts" amongst quarterbacks.
Sep 14 - 10:12 PM

A sitting athletic director in the Big Ten told NFL.com over the summer that Penn State would join Ohio State as a co-team-to-beat in the conference once it had a couple non-sanctioned recruiting classes under its belt.

The NCAA, of course, restored Penn State's full allotment of scholarships for next season and lifted the school's bowl ban on Monday, leading to a huge celebration on the streets of campus. This is what NFL.com's trio of Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks and Charles Davis had to say about the AD's assertion that the Nittany Lions will soon join the Buckeyes as "haves" in the Big 10: "That's a strong statement given the way Michigan State has positioned itself as a Big Ten powerhouse and how Wisconsin seems to always be in the mix, but we could see things playing out the way the source foresees. Ohio and Pennsylvania are two very high-powered states for football, which pays off in recruiting for those state schools. They both have great bases to build from, and great recruiters at head coach in Urban Meyer and James Franklin."
Source: NFL.com
Sep 10 - 9:56 PM

A veteran AFC scout said Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg is "the top QB in college football."

Hackenberg is "generating the most buzz with NFL scouts" amongst quarterbacks, reports NFL.com, who love his "combination of size, arm strength and competitiveness." The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,955 yards with a 20/10 TD-to-INT ratio as a true freshman last year, and he clearly progressed over the offseason. He won't be draft-eligible until after next season. "He put in work in the offseason, bulking up and adding strength, and it has shown in his improved game," NFL.com wrote. "He has thrown for more than 300 yards in Penn State's first two games, including 454 in the team's Dublin opener. There hasn't been a Big Ten quarterback drafted in the first round since Kerry Collins was taken by the Carolina Panthers in 1995. Still far from a polished product, Hackenberg looks the part and could end the drought once he decides to go pro."
Source: NFL.com
Sep 10 - 6:02 PM

The NCAA has restored Penn State's postseason eligibility effective immediately.

"Due to Penn State’s progress in ensuring athletics dept functions with integrity, NCAA immediately restores football postseason eligibility," the statement read. The NCAA has also restored all scholarships, beginning in the 2015-16 season. Penn State had the sanctions modified just a few years ago, but obviously this abruptly ends the initial punishments handed down following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Source: NCAA
Sep 8 - 2:34 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 22 of 36 attempts for 319 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the school's 21-3 win over Akron.

Two of Hackenberg's touchdowns were thrown to tight end Jesse James, the other was a swing pass to Bill Belton. Hackenberg's interceptions stick out most, as one was a forced throw into double coverage at the goal line. There's no reason to discuss where Hackenberg stacks up with the draft-eligible quarterbacks, as he is not allowed to enter the draft until 2016.
Sep 6 - 4:43 PM

Penn State junior TE Jesse James caught two passes for 57 yards and two touchdowns in the school's 21-3 win over Akron.

James suffered a minor shoulder injury last week, but he definitely looked healthy in this contest. James' first touchdown occurred on a curl route in the redzone and powered through three defenders for the score. The second went for 44 yards, as no one covered James as he rumbled in for the score. James is all power after the catch, but it works.
Sep 6 - 4:05 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 32 of 47 attempts for 454 yards in the school's 26-24 win over UCF.

Hackenberg made some great throws, specifically a few when evading pressure, but there were also multiple occasions when he forced passes into multiple defenders or threw behind his receiver. We don't see the point of anointing Hackenberg as the next great QB prospect until after the season. Instead, let's see how he develops this season. To his credit, Hackenberg did everything right in the school's game winning field goal drive.
Aug 30 - 12:21 PM

The Sporting News reports that Penn State could have their postseason ban lifted before the 2015 season.

"Two sources within the NCAA say Penn State, if it continues to 'reach and go beyond' benchmarks set by the NCAA in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, will have a 'strong case' to get its final year of postseason probation lifted," wrote Matt Hayes. "As early as next week, George Mitchell, Penn State’s athletics integrity monitor, will release his second annual report on the state of the university’s athletics programs. The NCAA last year restored some scholarships after Mitchell’s first report that, according to one NCAA source, 'reached well beyond expectations.'" Amongst a laundry list of penalties, Penn State was issued a four-year postseason ban prior to the 2012 season. It wouldn't be a surprise if the NCAA lifted the last year of that ban for good behavior.
Aug 27 - 6:42 PM

QB Christian Hackenberg became the first sophomore to be named team captain in Penn State history.

The stretch dates back 128 years. Penn State has seven team captains, two on offense, two one defense and three on special teams. Hackenberg already has plenty of fans after just one season as the team's starter, but he will look to build on that success in 2014.
Source: ESPN
Aug 13 - 11:40 AM

The Patriot News' Bob Flounder reports that sophomore TE Adam Breneman may need surgery and is expected to miss the year.

"Penn State sophomore tight end Adam Breneman is dealing with a left knee injury that is expected to require surgery and will likely necessitate a redshirt season, PennLive has learned," Flounder wrote. Breneman's injury is related to a bone bruise he suffered during the spring, and the injury does not involve any damage to the major ligaments, which means the surgery could be a minor procedure. The 6-4, 243-pound Breneman had surgery to repair the ACL in his right knee back in 2012.
Aug 12 - 8:44 AM

Penn State released a statement saying sophomore TE Adam Breneman is out indefinitely due to an injury.

Head coach James Franklin failed to reveal any further details. Breneman posted 15 receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns while finishing the season strong in the final three games. Penn State has plenty of good tight end depth with Jesse James and Kyle Carter, but we expect to hear more on Breneman's situation soon. The tight end suffered a torn ACL during his final season of high school football.
Source: Penn State
Aug 11 - 11:10 AM

Penn State redshirt junior TE Kyle Carter is the No. 4 draft-eligible underclassmen TE, according to ESPN's Mel Kiper.

Carter had 36 catches as a freshman, but fell off to 18 receptions last season while sharing snaps with Jesse James and Adam Breneman. "Carter actually looks bigger than his 6-3 listing would indicate, with long arms he uses to attack the ball in the air," Kiper wrote. "Penn State will split him out, where he's simply too big to handle for most CBs, and it'll be particularly interesting for NFL evaluators to see how emerging QB prospect Christian Hackenberg uses him. Hackenberg's ball placement with Carter should be fun to watch, because Carter's frame will allow his QB to look for high-point catches and back-shoulder throws where the CB can't fight through Carter's frame. It'll be a good test of a QB, not just the emerging tight end." Carter, 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, runs a 4.89 second 40-yard dash.
Aug 10 - 6:41 PM

Penn State redshirt junior T Donovan Smith didn't show improvement in 2013, according to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

The 6-foot-5, 335-pound junior has been in the lineup since he was a freshman, accruing 20 career starts. "Smith blew me away in 2012 but I did not think he improved all that much last year," Pauline wrote. "Smith is a big, fluid blocker with upside but must start to put the pedal to the metal." The veteran leader will protect Christian Hackenberg's blindside again this fall.
Aug 10 - 3:25 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline believes Penn State redshirt junior TE Kyle Carter "has the makings of a big time prospect at tight end."

"He has nice size and the ability to get down the field and make the reception," Pauline wrote. Carter had 36 catches as a freshman, but only produced 18 receptions last season as he competed for playing time at a stacked position. Once again this fall, he'll have to compete with Jesse James and Adam Breneman for snaps. The 6-foot-3, 243-pound Carter, whom Pauline sees as a Round 4 prospect, runs a 4.89 second 40-yard dash.
Aug 10 - 2:55 PM


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