The Penn State coaching staff has secured the first commitment to its 2013 recruiting class as ESPN is reporting that Palmyra, Va. quarterback prospect Christian Hackenberg has given his verbal to the Nittany Lions.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound signal caller is rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247 Sports. Rivals rates him as the No. 153 recruit nationally while 247 puts him No. 68 on its national board, No. 4 at his position and No. 3 in the state of Virginia. Rivals lists him as boasting offers from Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
His 247 profile shows him as being recruited by new running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Charles London, responsible for recruiting in Virginia, though new head coach Bill O'Brien's history of working as a quarterbacks coach, then offensive coordinator over Tom Brady with the New England Patriots since 2007 probably weighed heavily on Hackenberg's mind, as 247 calls him a "Pro-Style" quarterback. ESPN's Jamie Newberg reports (full story is $$$), however, Pennsylvania roots played a role, too.
"For him the biggest thing is the ties there," said his father Eric Hackenberg. "He grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania and we lived there until he was 7 years old. His grandparents are still there. We have lots of ties to the area and he grew up on Penn State football. He grew up around it."
You can check out highlights of Hackenberg's junior year after the jump.
Hackenberg will join a crowded quarterback stable in 2013. Rob Bolden and Paul Jones will be seniors and Steven Bench, who signed his letter of intent to come to Happy Valley from Georgia last month, will be entering his sophomore year.
Regardless, it would appear that by all expert accounts, the Lions have gotten on the board in a big way, something that has to encourage fans after all the speculation that O'Brien's first full recruiting class would suffer as the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal drags on. At least for now, though, the new staff appears to be on a good path.
Check out Hackenberg's highlight tape below.
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