Widely praised for his play on the field in 2013, Christian Hackenberg is now gaining acclaim for his leadership on and off it.
Penn State announced Wednesday it will have seven team co-captains for the 2014 season: two each on offense and defense, and three on special teams. It’s Hackenberg’s captaincy, however, that will garner the most attention because of its historical uniqueness.
The quarterback, the school noted, becomes the first sophomore to be elected as a captain in the football program’s 128-year history. He is also the second-youngest Nittany Lion to be named a team captain, behind only John Chuckran, who as a freshman was the captain of the depleted 1944 squad during World War II.
The school also notes that Hackenberg is the first non-senior to serve as a Penn State co-captain since junior Paul Posluszny in 2005.
As a true freshman last season, Hackenberg passed for nearly 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was the Big Ten’s Freshmen of the Year and was a consensus Freshman All-American.
And, for those who are curious, here are the remaining co-captains:
The defensive co-captains are senior linebacker Mike Hull and senior defensive end C.J. Olaniyan.
The other offensive co-captains is senior guard Miles Dieffenbach.
The special teams co-captains are senior safeties Jesse Della Valle and Ryan Keiser, and senior placekicker Sam Ficken.