2014 Heisman Watch: Penn State's Christian Hackenberg Breakout College Football Star of 2014? [VIDEO]

By Mike Edler (
on Jun 11, 2014 03:49 PM EDT
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Christian Hackenberg
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg has a juicy matchup vs. a Rutgers secondary that has surrendered 700 passing yards in just two games. (Photo : Getty Images)

With all the talk of Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and Brett Hundley being the next big three in college football, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg has snuck under the radar. Hackenberg isn't draft eligible until 2016, but that hasn't stopped him from gaining praise and a following in college football circles.

Hackenberg both suffers and benefits from the lack of national attention Penn State brings him, but as a true freshman he burst on the scene as a force to be reckoned with. Hackenberg used his 58.9 completion percentage to throw for 2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns while rushing for another four and leading the sanctioned Nittany Lions to a 7-5 record.

Hackenberg absorbed a pro style offense in less than one offseason and will now be asked to learn a new scheme under head coach James Franklin. Hackenberg finally has a full offseason to get a grasp on the college game, thus setting himself up to cut down on mistakes and take full advantage of the Penn State playbook.

Penn State lost Allen Robinson to the NFL, but Hackenberg had a knack for making the most out of his options. Penn State will still look to flex their strengths at tight end and running back to make Hackenberg’s life much easier considering the Nittany Lions will have a less-than-stellar offensive line this season.

Make no mistake, Hackenberg is on the verge of being one of the top quarterback prospects in college football. He isn't draft eligible just yet, but this time next year we will be talking about Christian Hackenberg the way we talk about Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and Brett Hundley.

[Bleacher Report]

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