Hackenberg and Robinson earn All-Big 10 selections
It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg was named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year on Tuesday.
The quarterback put up impressive numbers all season to earn the Thompson-Randle El Award. He finished with 2,955 yards passing, 20 TDs to 10 interceptions and completed 58.9 percent of his passes.
His yardage total was the third-most ever at PSU, behind only Matt McGloin (3,266 in 2012) and Daryll Clark (3,003 in 2009).
“It was a lot of ups and downs, really just trying to fight through it coming in only in the summer and trying to pock up everything,” Hackenberg said on Big Ten Network.
Hackenberg finished the season by throwing for 339 yards and four touchdowns to lead Penn State to a 31-24 win at Wisconsin. He called that win and the four-overtime victory against Michigan his best moments.
“The most important thing that I learned, you’ve got to just continue to work each week,” he said. “Each week’s a grind, each week’s a new challenge with the defenses that we face in this conference.”
He said the area he grew the most throughout the season was in the mental aspect, being able to recognize defenses and how that translates to running the offense.
Hackenberg said his biggest challenge was “just being able to handle all the expectations that came with being a quarterback at a place like Penn State.”
In other awards, Penn State’s Allen Robinson was named Big Ten Receiver of the Year for the second consecutive year Monday, and he shed a bit of light on his future plans with regards to the NFL.
Robinson, a junior, was interviewed on Big Ten Network and was asked about his decision on possibly giving up his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
“I’m just going to try to go home over Christmas break and talk to my family and keep in touch with coaches here and just try to figure it out,” Robinson said on BTN.
He said he doesn’t have a timeframe to make a decision just yet but added, “I should be able to say that after Christmas break.”
Robinson, who won the Big Ten’s Richter-Howard Award, set single-season PSU records with 97 catches for 1,432 yards this season. He broke his previous school record of 77 catches set last year.
As good as his season was, Robinson said he didn’t meet his goals.
“I didn’t obtain any but one, which was winning this award, but I still was thankful for the year that I had,” he said on BTN.
He also mentioned his goals for this offseason, which presumably would be the same whether he stays or leaves PSU.
“Going into the offseason, I really want to get faster and become a better route runner and just try to eliminate all drops if possible,” he said.
Penn State guard John Urschel and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones were named first-team all-Big Ten. Urschel made the first team in voting done by the coaches and media, while Jones was a first-team selection by the coaches and second-team by the media.
PSU players who were honorable mention all-conference include: CB Adrian Amos, LB Glenn Carson, PK Sam Ficken, QB Christian Hackenberg, C Ty Howle, TE Jesse James, CB Jordan Lucas, DE C.J. Olaniyan and T Donovan Smith.