CALLING CARD: QB Christian Hackenberg
Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg fielded questons on Wednesday. Here's a review of his comments. On if he's had contact and is familiar with Kerry Collins: "No, I haven't (met him), but oviously the 1994 team will be a big part of this weekend. We know the history of the team, but getting to see those guys will be cool. I know it's one of the best offenses in Penn State history." On DeaSean Hamilton: "He worked extremely hard last year. This off-season he showed he has a bright future. He took himself to become a great playmaker. Him and Geno have done a great job. It's a young corp but they are both great young leaders." On where he thinks he can improve: "I think it's understanding on when to take a risk and when not to. We've worked on that, especially in practice yesterday. As the game reps build up we'll understand when to take shots and when to check down or throw it away." On helping the young receivers: "The film room is very important to them and practice reps are huge. That helped me a lot last year. Continuing to build their knowledge of the offense is key." On his thoughts on the wildcat: "It's a good wrinkle and something we use to our advantage. We're excited by it and it's something new since I have been here. It adds another look for defenses to prepare for." On DaeSean Hamilton's injury impact: "He did not get frustrated when he could not catch balls - he had time to get stronger and more explosive. That really helped him become more of a complete player. It was really part of his development and he embraced it."
On his own focus:
"My focus is to become the best player I can be. To become a reliable guy for our offense and our team."
On how much the game has changed with reliance on passing:
"You can't always rely on a running back to run 30 carries a game. You see that change in the game. The pro style offense will always be alive throughout football at any level. The development of passing and protections is always changing and getting better. I think it is just part of the evolution of the game. You need to be able to execute those things."
On his comfort with throwing a lot:
"Yeah, I think it goes back to doing whatever it taes to win games. Whether it's handing the ball of 40 times or passing 40 times. My job is to execute to the best of my ability."
On spending his time with the coaches:
"I work with Coach Donovan and Coach Rahne a lot. They are always looking to get better and it rubs off. Getting extra time is key to beating defenses."
On what he sees as the strengths and improvement points of the offensive line so far:
"Those guys did a very good job with what they were asked to do. I think they will gel and improve, like all of us do. As long as that continues to happen they' improve just fine. We're really excited about the progress they have shown through week one."
On Sam Ficken:
"I knew Sam when I was getting recruited. I was at the UVA game. Just seeing his development and improvement with the time he's put in to get these results makes you so happy as a teammate. He leads by hard work and puts in so much extra work. He's a huge asset to our team."
On Geno Lewis as a leader:
"His confidence and playing ability has rubbed off. He's a redshirt (sophomore), but he's one of the older guys we have. His leadership on and off the field has been great for us."
On his comfort level with rolling out and throwing out of the pocket:
"I've gotten more comfortable with it - I experienced it at Fork Union. Now its just getting more and more comfortable with it as a unit."
On James Franklin's impact on the offense:
"He puts us in situations where it's tough to be successful, so we have to work hard at it. They'll back us up and give us two minutes with no timeouts where we need a touchdown to win."
On what Jesse James brings to your game with both his size and experience:
"He's a very smart football player. He's one of those guys you know you're on the same page with him. He's a great safety outlet and you know Jesse's going to be in the right spot at the right time."
On the depth of the receivers:
"I think that goes back to the summer; you work with them day in and day out and they showed great promise. Everything started clicking for them. As a quarterback you start to feel comfortable and see that everyone is on the same page. These guys just go get it and make plays."
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