Senior-to-be Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union, Va./Fork Union Military Academy), the No. 1 quarterback prospect and 16th player overall in the ESPN 150, plans to visit the Penn State campus as part of a fact-finding mission before he determines if he will attend the school, his high school coach said Wednesday.
The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Hackenberg committed to Penn State in February.
“There’s so much that we just don’t know right now,” Fork Union coach Micky Sullivan said. “He’s got to get as many answers as he can before moving forward. For Christian, this is one of the most important decisions of his life.
“As of now, he’s still a Penn State recruit.”
Sullivan met with Hackenberg and his family after the NCAA announced severe sanctions, including a $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban and significant scholarship reductions, on the Nittany Lions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Sullivan said they came up with a list of questions to ask Penn State coach Bill O’Brien and other university officials on the visit.
Hackenberg is a main piece to O’Brien’s 2013 recruiting class. Two other key members of that class, Greg Webb (Erial, N.J./Timber Creek) and cornerback Ross Douglas (Avon, Ohio/Avon), have decommitted.
“He’s still conflicted, but it’s important he has a second chance to re-evaluate all of this,” Sullivan said of Hackenberg. “I think he’ll come back from Penn State with a better idea of how to best handle everything.”
Sullivan said several college coaches have inquired about Hackenberg but declined to name specific schools. He said the quarterback and O’Brien formed a strong bond during the recruiting process.
“He’s been brought up to understand that his word matters,” Sullivan said. “When he says something, he means it.”
O’Brien said earlier this week that he “feels good” about the state of the program’s recruiting.
“We’re going after a certain type of player,” O’Brien said. “We’re going after a tough kid. We’re going after a high-character kid, and we’re going after a kid that wants to get a great education.
“That’s what we’ve been doing, and we feel really good about where we are in recruiting right now.”
Information from ESPN.com’s Mitch Sherman and Ivan Maisel was was used in this report.
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