Aug. 11 News: Christian Hackenberg Begins Bounce-Back 2015

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Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg’s true freshman 2013 validated the 5-star praise he had coming in, but he struggled through a sophomore slump in 2014.

Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press talked with Christian Hackenberg about the challenges of the quarterback’s sophomore season, which Hackenberg sees as having value for his junior campaign:

“Overall, the entire thing that has happened, it’s been an awesome experience, though it wasn’t ideally what I pictured,” Hackenberg told the AP. “It was one of the best experiences for me because not only in football but in life there’s going to be changes, there’s going to be things that don’t go your way or not exactly how you planned it. And you’ve got to be able to adjust to that and make the best out of it.”

Such rhetoric sounds good, but how will Hackenberg deliver in what could be his final fall at Penn State? Russo’s profile from the opening of Nittany Lions fall camp details Hackenberg’s roadmap.

Connor Cook Aims for Accuracy and Greater Heights in 2015

Ryan Palencer, The Student Section

One of Hackenberg’s Big Ten East quarterback peers, Connor Cook, could be the division’s top playmaker in the coming season.

Cook led Michigan State to a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl in 2013, and last year helped the Spartans to a Cotton Bowl victory. This year, Michigan State is a legitimate College Football Playoff contender and Cook is one key reason why.

Cook is the best Spartan quarterback since Kirk Cousins, and could actually outperform Cousins’ outstanding 2011. It’s no surprise that with an arguably better team around him, Cook’s Spartans could accomplish even more.

Oklahoma State Begins Strategic Two-A-Days

Kyle Fredrickson, The Oklahoman

Coming off a disappointing 2014 season, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is trying to iron out as many problems ahead of the Cowboys’ 2015 campaign as he can. To that end, the Oklahoma State coaching staff introduced the first session of two-a-days in Cowboys’ fall camp Monday.

But, as Kyle Fredrickson reports, Gundy’s version deviates from those grueling, August workouts many endured as high schoolers, which effectively served to weed out those who lacked the necessary dedication.

Oklahoma State’s version of two-a-days is about dedication, but is focused more on dedicating to getting down strategy pat:

“We’ll line up in some schemes that we need to correct on both sides of the ball,” Gundy said. “Then we’ll work on special situations that we would face in the season that we don’t get enough time to teach and coach.”