Christian Hackenberg doesn't have a head coach right now, at Penn State. But that isn't stopping the Fork Union alum from looking ahead to his second college season.
"We're getting ready to go as a team," Hackenberg said Saturday morning. "We're rallying the troops. We've got a big offseason ahead of us, and that's our focus right now."
Hackenberg is back home in Central Virginia until next Friday, when he says he'll head back to State College. The Nittany Lions begin winter workouts on January 13.
When Hackenberg arrived in Happy Valley last summer, he was regarded as the top quarterback recruit in the country. He began his true freshman season as the Nittany Lions' starting quarterback, and finished the year as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Hackenberg started all 12 games for Penn State, throwing for 2,955 yards and 20 touchdown passes, and setting 10 of the program's freshman passing records. He earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors five times, and led the Nittany Lions to a 7-5 record.
"It's kind of surreal," Hackenberg said of his freshman year. "I really didn't have any expectations, to be completely honest with you. I just came out there and just tried to learn the system, and be a game manager. And then the rest sort of took care of itself."
Hackenberg's head coach as a freshman was Bill O'Brien, who left earlier this week to become the new coach of the NFL's Houston Texans. On Saturday, Hackenberg said he had no intention of transferring following O'Brien's departure, and looked forward to meeting his next college coach.
"I know that they're going to do a great job up there. And we're really excited," he said. "I know the team is excited. I've talked to a lot of the guys. And we're excited for the future, and we're excited to see what direction we're headed in. And we're ready to win football games next year."