PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Penn State’s true sophomore quarterback was voted by players and coaches as a team captain on Wednesday. Hackenberg, 19, becomes the first sophomore football captain in Penn State history and second-youngest captain the Nittany Lions have ever had (Johnny Chuckran, 1944, freshman).
“It means the world to me,” Hackenberg said in a statement. “We’ve worked really hard together this offseason. I just try to be the best teammate I could be for each and every one of these guys. I’m going to continue to try and do that with this honor. It comes with a lot of responsibility, and I think us as a core group will do a great job.”
Under the late Joe Paterno, the vast majority of captains were seniors. New Penn State head coach, James Franklin—a Langhorne, PA native—is clearly shaking things up and doing things his own way.
“These players have clearly earned the respect of their teammates and coaches,” Franklin, said in a statement. “We are trying to promote and develop leadership throughout the entire program and I’m really excited about the role our captains will have throughout the season.”
Six other Penn Staters were named captain along with Hackenberg. Defensively, LB Mike Hull and DE C.J. Olaniyan received the honors. Kicker Sam Ficken, holder Ryan Keiser, and punt-returner Jesse Della Valle were named special teams captains. On offense, fifth-year senior guard Miles Dieffenbach was named an offensive captain with Hackenberg.
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