WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

FUMA's Hackenberg Trying to Stay "Level-Headed"

Fork Union quarterback Christian Hackenberg is back home in Central Virginia -- and trying to keep a low profile.

Hackenberg says his phone has been buzzing practically nonstop since Monday's announcement by the NCAA of sanctions against the Penn State football program. Hackenberg gave a verbal commitment to Penn State in late February.

"Right now, I'm just being quiet with the media," Hackenberg said Tuesday. "I'm still committed, so that's pretty much where I'm going to leave it."

The NCAA sanctions were the latest fallout for Penn State from the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse case. The school was fined $60 million; stripped of its football wins from 1998-2011; banned from playing any postseason games for four years; and stripped of 20 scholarships per season over that same four-year period.

Hackenberg -- rated as a four-star prospect by every major recruiting site, and the top high school quarterback in the country by ESPN -- is considered one of the key commits in new Penn State coach Bill O'Brien's first full recruiting class.

"You get phone calls from schools, everything. It's just crazy," Hackenberg said. "Something that I don't really want to go through right now, but it's part of the deal."

Hackenberg says he's been trying to keep his phone off in an attempt to avoid recruiting calls from college coaches, as well as questions from recruiting reporters.

"It's been pretty hectic," he added. "I've just been trying to stay level-headed, and just rely on the people who are around me, such as Coach, and my parents, and the other players who are committed with me."

The Fork Union football team opens preseason camp on August 7. They'll be preparing for a season opener against Hermitage that will be televised nationally by ESPN on August 25. And Hackenberg says he just wants to focus on his upcoming season.

"Right now I've got August 7 circled on my calender," he said. "So that's where I'm looking ahead right now."


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