In the wake of the departure of head football coach Bill O'Brien for the Houston Texans, many around the Penn State football program are concerned about the future. Who is going to coach the team? What will happen to recruits? Better yet, what will happen with their current players?
All eyes are certainly on freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who just finished his first season as the Nittany Lions' starter. He had a successful campaign and hearing "if O'Brien could do all of that with McGloin, imagine four years with Hackenberg!" was common in Happy Valley.
Now will Hackenberg even stick around for the fall?
The Altoona Mirror's Cory Giger caught up with Erick Hackenberg, Christian's father, who gave a very noncommittal response saying the quarterback was "neutral" on his return to Penn State and would not say whether "he will or won't" return. The elder Hackenberg left it at, "he's still enrolled at Penn State."
Not exactly a vote of confidence that the future star of the program is going to see it all the way through.
It is hard to blame Hackenberg if he leaves. I mean, he was sold on the idea of commitment to the program, to the coaches, and to the university. The very same man who was preaching about commitment to all of those things left that all behind earlier this week to pursue a job in the NFL.
I don't blame O'Brien for leaving for the Texans but I also think the words that made him so beloved around Happy Valley and with his recruits are coming back to make him look a bit hypocritical.
For the sake of the Penn State football program, I hope Hackenberg sticks it out with whoever they bring in to replace O'Brien.
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