Player News

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Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 8 of 16 attempts for 93 yards and a touchdown in the school's 16-14 loss to Illinois.

Do we have to repeat ourselves? We have read some blaming the offensive line for Hackenberg's poor play this season while citing sack totals. That is not fair to the offensive line, as Hackenberg is the reason for so many of the sacks. It might not be a situation that many could succeed in, but right now Hackenberg is not one of them.
Nov 22 - 4:52 PM

Penn State senior safety Ryan Keiser (bowel) has been released from the hospital

The senior suffered a fractured rib on October 23 and had to undergo operations on a bowel injury that resulted. Keiser has been ruled out for the rest of the season, but he will be rejoining the team. Coach James Franklin said, "I do think his presence around the facility will be important, and I'm excited and looking forward to that." Keiser was a walk-on who developed into a team leader. Prior to his injury, he had recorded 25 tackles and an interception.
Source: ESPN.com
Nov 18 - 6:15 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg continued his downward trend, completing 12 of 26 attempts for 112 yards and two interceptions in the school's 30-13 win over Temple.

Hackenberg's first interception occurred on a deflection after throwing behind his receiver. The second was even worse after throwing off his back foot after holding the ball too long. Some will continue to blame the offensive line, but Hackenberg has not been good when isolating his performances. In fact, the two sacks in the second quarter are squarely on his shoulders. Maybe Hackenberg is not really regressing, perhaps we are just getting the real picture on his evaluation. Next season will be telling.
Nov 15 - 3:41 PM

Less than a week prior to Penn State receiving their sanctions from the NCAA, a "majority" of the executive committee favored handing down the "death penalty," according to the AP's Mark Scolforo.

The death penalty would have shut down the Penn State football program for multiple years. Keep in mind, the sanctions were only announced in July of 2012. SMU received such a penalty in 1987 but returned a few years later despite the sanctions impacting the school for years to come. The NCAA has already set an end date for Penn State's current penalties, and allowed them to be draft-eligible this season.
Nov 14 - 11:06 AM

Penn State redshirt junior T Donovan Smith (unspecified injury) practiced on Wednesday.

Penn State has not disclosed the nature of Smith's injury, but the 6-foot-5, 335-pound junior had missed the last two games after suffering the ailment in the team's loss to Ohio State in October. Over the summer, TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline wrote that he thought Smith was a "big, fluid blocker with upside," but that he had to start "put[ting] the pedal to the metal."
Nov 12 - 7:30 PM

Penn State senior DB Adrian Amos has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

Amos will join teammate Mike Hull (linebacker) at the annual competition. Over the summer, CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote that the 6-foot, 209-pound senior takes "aggressive angles and explodes downhill" on his tackles. Unlike many collegiate corners, Amos already has a decent amount of bulk and muscle. The team leader has a 4.45 40-time.
Source: Senior Bowl
Nov 10 - 9:49 PM

Penn State redshirt senior LB Mike Hull has accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl.

Hull has a motor that doesn't stop, to use the old cliche, which makes up for some of his athletic shortcomings. He's also the leader of Penn State's defense and has quick diagnostic skills which should translate well. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote in late October that Hull has "read/react quickness to break down and make a play" within the flow of a game.
Source: Senior Bowl
Nov 10 - 4:51 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 12 of 29 attempts for 168 yards and two interceptions in the school's 13-7 win over Indiana.

We say the same thing every week, so we will spare you from the Hackenberg criticism and the criticism for those that put unrealistic expectations on him. That is not to say Hackenberg can't be good, because he can, he just has not sustained it this season.
Nov 8 - 4:14 PM

A weak 2015 tight end class could prompt underclassmen such as Penn State junior TE Jesse James to jump to the pros early, observed CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

James "showed the combination of size, agility and acceleration that project well to the NFL" in Saturday's performance against Maryland, which included five catches for 48 yards, according to Rang. "James isn't as powerful as a blocker as his size and reported weight room strength (27 reps of 225 pounds in a preseason charity event) suggest," the analyst wrote. "He's broad and competitive enough to seal off defenders but doesn't get much push at the line of scrimmage. However, James supplied a key downfield block to spring [QB Christian] Hackenberg for a 17-yard gain on Penn State's go-ahead fourth quarter scoring drive." The 6-foot-7, 254-pound junior runs a 4.78 forty.
Source: CBS Sports
Nov 2 - 1:24 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 18 of 42 attempts for 177 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the school's 20-19 loss to Maryland.

Many have discussed Hackenberg's drop off in play this season compared to 2013. Is it the offensive line's fault? Is it because Bill O'Brien jumped to the NFL? Maybe the lack of Allen Robinson? We think these play a part, but Hackenberg does too. For example, perhaps O'Brien was very good at masking Hackenberg's flaws, which is what good coaches do. But if that is the case, many jumped the gun in declaring Hackenberg a future No. 1 pick. This is all part of his development, and we will withhold evaluating his NFL potential until this summer.
Nov 1 - 4:19 PM

Penn State redshirt senior RB Zach Zwinak will miss the remainder of the season with a lower leg injury.

The injury occurred on the first play against Ohio State. Zwinak was second on the team with 40 carries, but was being outperformed by Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch. This will end Zwinak's college career,
Source: ESPN
Oct 30 - 11:09 AM

Penn State senior safety Ryan Keiser will miss the rest of the season with a bowel injury.

The senior, a former walk-on, suffered a fractured rib in practice last Thursday, leading to the bowel injury. He is currently in the hospital after undergoing surgery. Keiser is a team captain for the Nittany Lions and in six games this season, he had recorded 25 tackles in addition to intercepting one pass and knocking down three. Head coach James Franklin said during his weekly news conference that, "Our trainers and doctors have been in constant contact and have been involved every step of the way."
Source: ESPN.com
Oct 29 - 4:29 PM

Penn State redshirt senior LB Mike Hull "has been excellent this season," writes CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.

Hull leads the Big Ten with 83 tackles. "His impact was on display in the near upset of Ohio State Saturday night," Brugler wrote. "He finished with 19 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and one interception, showing terrific recognition skills and read/react quickness to break down and make a play. Hull isn't the most athletic or strongest linebacker prospect for the 2015 class, but he certainly plays his tail off and trusts what he sees, two qualities that will endear him to coaches at the next level."
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 28 - 8:51 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg completed 31-of-49 attempts for 224 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in Saturday's 31-24 double-overtime loss to Ohio State.

Hackenberg won't get much national credit for it, but he's been downright heroic in standing tough in the pocket behind one of the nation's worst offensive lines this year. Defensive coordinators, looking to take advantage and not keen on allowing Hackenberg to beat them, send waves of pressure. If Hackenberg can get through this season with his body and confidence in one piece, there are going to be plenty of teams praying he opts into the draft after next season.
Oct 26 - 10:10 PM

PennLive.com's Greg Pickel reports that Penn State's offense is on track to surrender 40 sacks this fall."

So far this season, the 6-foot-4, 212-pound Hackenberg has been sacked 20 times, or basically just over three times a game. The Penn State prospect has been pressured on nearly 10 percent more of his dropbacks than a year ago, according to an ESPN.com report. In Penn State's 18-13 win against Michigan last weekend, Hackenberg was sacked six times.
Oct 17 - 3:54 PM


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