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October 13, 2013

Week 7: Class of 2013 five-star tracker

MORE PENN STATE: BlueWhiteIllustrated.com

Through five games of his freshman season, former five-star quarterback Christian Hackenberg of Fork Union (Vir.) Military is already littering the Penn State record book with multiple single-game records.

His performance in helping push the Nittany Lions past Michigan in quadruple overtime may be remembered as the highlight of first page in writing his own legacy.

The stats read as 23-of-44 for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Head coach Bill O'Brien said that the final drive to force overtime was as much an evolution as execution.

"Those are situations that we practice every day," O'Brien said. "You guys know that. We practice two-minute situations every day. That one that we had at the end of the game, we practiced that just the other day. I think it was 50 seconds left in the game and we had the ball from our own 25 or 30 yard line. We knew there were specific plays we wanted to run there and we just needed the line to block well and they did. We were able to come up with some big plays. I think Christian is, obviously, a very mature quarterback for being 18-years old. He's a fun guy to coach. Some of that was training too, and that paid off."

The drive saw the quarterback complete three passes -- missing only on a spike to stop the clock -- moving the team 79 yards in 23 seconds before going in for his rushing touchdown.

Receiver Allen Robinson was a big reason for the victory as he made an incredible, 36-yard catch to keep the chains moving. He also credited the poise of his young quarterback.

"That's a situation we have been in numerous times in practice," he said. "From the time camp started to now, we probably had run 100 two-minute drills, with 30 seconds remaining, zero timeouts or one timeout. So it is something that we did practice. Coach signaled the play in and I knew once Hack threw me the ball, I had to make a play on it."

In overtime the Nittany Lions put the ball in the hands of running back Bill Belton, and he responded with a conversion on fourth down and the winning score. But it was the confidence of Hackenberg to try and thread a small window to Robinson on 3rd down and goal -- a pass that drew an interference call -- that may have been the difference maker.

Robinson and Brandon Felder combined for 11 receptions and 181 yards with two touchdowns in the contest.

Hackenberg said that Robinson is always helping him read the defenses and find spots that the pair can attack.

"He and I are always talking," Hackenberg. "All my receivers, we're always just talking about what they see, what type of feel they have for the defense, how the corners are playing. He and I have a great relationship. It goes back to the hours we put in, in the summer."

Coming off of a 20-point loss to Indiana the victory was huge for the program moving forward. O'Brien said it was much needed.

"It's a big win for us," he said. "It means a lot. You beat a really good Michigan team, 5-0. You're 3-2, coming off a bad loss. I think it says a lot about these kids, it says a lot about this coaching staff. These coaches here came back to work on Sunday and tried to put together a good game plan and our kids did their best to go out and execute it. I've never been in a game like this. This is a first for me."

It was a first of what could be many major wins if the growth of the No. 24 overall prospect in the class of 2013 continues.

Recruiting class of 2013 five-star tracker
Like every other game this season, Nkemdiche started at defensive end for Ole Miss but had a low impact on the stat sheet in the loss to Ole Miss. He recorded a tackle on the fourth play of the game on a nine-yard rush by Johnny Manziel and was not on the sheet again.
Season stats: 11 tackles; four assists. Four tackles for loss. One quarterback rush. One pass break-up. One rush for 11 yards.

Hargreaves started again for Florida and was back at right cornerback for the second straight game after he opened as the starting left cornerback after starting as the nickel back in the previous contests. Against LSU he was credited for two tackles and two assists. He had an interception ripped from his hands by Jarvis Landry early in the game as well.
Season stats: 12 tackles; four assists. Five pass break-ups. Three interceptions for 39 yards. Two punt returns for 5 yards and one fumble.

Notre Dame was idle this week.
Season stats: 15 tackles; nine assists. 2.5 tackles for a loss. Two pass break-ups. One forced fumble.

Lawson did not start against Western Carolina but did see the field. He was limited in his participation and his impact adding only an assist and two quarterback hurries to his season totals.
Season stats: Seven tackles; four assists. Four tackles for loss. Two sacks. Four quarterback hurry. One forced fumble.
WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
Treadwell had his second-most productive game of the season in the tough defeat by Texas A&M. He hauled in eight receptions for 77 yards and scored his first two collegiate touchdowns. It was also the first game in the last four that he didn't attempt a pass.
Season stats: 32catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns. Two rushes for 8 yards. 0-3 passing, one interception.

Bigelow enrolled early and competed for playing time. He did not see game action for the sixth consecutive week and is likely to redshirt.

QB Max Browne, USC
Browne enrolled early and was in competition for the starting quarterback position. He did not see game action for the sixth consecutive week and is likely redshirt.

In a game that went into four overtimes the former five-star was a complete non-factor. Michigan ran the ball 54 times for 149 total yards of which Green was given three touches and gained one total yard.
Season stats: 26 carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

Fuller has been a fixture in the defensive backfield so far this season and has tremendous upside. In the victory over Pittsburgh the secondary was tested but came up with plenty of answers. Fuller had two tackles and an assist. He was also credited for a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.
Season stats: 19 tackles; eight assists. Half a tackle for loss. Five pass break-ups. Two interceptions for negative-two yards. Two quarterback hurries. Five punt returns for negative-1 yard.

Florida State was idle this week.
Season stats: 17 tackles; five assists. One sack. One tackle for loss. One interception for 31 return yards. One pass break-up.

Allen saw playing time in the win over Kentucky but he did not record a stat in the victory.
Season stats: Three tackles.

In the Trojans first game under Ed Orgeron, Cravens was back at his customary position starting at safety. He made three solo tackles and assisted on four others. He was also asked to return one punt and gained a yard.
Season stats: 21 tackles; 12 assists. Half of a tackle for loss. Two interceptions for 0 yards. One forced fumble. One punt return for one yard.

LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
Foster saw action in the contest against Kentucky but did not record a solo tackle, again. He was credited with two more assists in the contest.
Season stats: One tackle, four assisted tackles.

OL Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
Tunsil was back in the starting lineup for Ole Miss getting the nod at left tackle. He was flagged for a false start in the second which set the team behind the chains which ultimately led to a punt after the team had crossed to the 40 of Texas A&M.
Season stats: Three starts. Four other games participated in.

Florida State was idle this week.
Season stats: Four tackles. Two tackles for loss. One sack.

TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
Howard came off the bench against Kentucky and added two receptions for 37 yards as both catches went for first downs. He was targeted two other times in the victory.
Season stats: Nine receptions for 156 yards. One solo tackle.

Given the most carries of his young career, Tyner toted the ball 12 times for 57 yards. It was the first time in his career that he didn't score a touchdown in a game.
Season stats: 47 carries for 261 yards. Four touchdowns.

White made another start for LSU and performed well, again. This week he tied for the team lead with four solo tackles and added three other assists. One assist was on a tackle for a loss. He was also credited with a pass break up.
Season stats: 14 tackles; 13 assists. Half of a tackle for loss. Four pass break-up. One forced fumble. One interception for 40 yards.

RB Greg Bryant, Notre Dame
Notre Dame was idle this week. There are rumors out of South Bend that the Irish are going to apply for an injury redshirt for Bryant to save the explosive back for next season.
Season stats: Three carries for 14 yards.

Jones was in the starting lineup but didn't have nearly the impact against Bowling Green as he did last week. The defensive end was credited with an assist on a tackle for a loss and nothing more.
Season stats: Eight tackles; six assists. Four quarterback hurries. Four tackles for loss. Two sacks.

Vanderdoes started the contest against California and was limited on the stat sheet but quite disruptive. He was credited with a solo tackle as well as given half of a sack on his assisted tackle for loss. The play resulted in a forced fumble which went to Vanderdoes' credit.
Season stats: 11 tackles; five assists. Two and a half tackles for loss. Half of a sack. One forced fumble.

McQuay was in on special teams again but did not record a stat. He was flagged for illegal kicking on an extra point attempt by Arizona.
Season stats: One tackle. One forced fumble. One blocked punt.

DE Frank Herron, LSU
Herron did not play in the victory over LSU, and it is likely that he will redshirt.

Hackenburg added another 300-yard passing game to his already sterling resume in the victory over Michigan. He completed 23 of 44 passes for 305 yards. He tossed three touchdowns to go with two interceptions. He was sacked four times but scampered for his first rushing touchdown of the year.
Season stats: 132-for-226 for 1,672 yards, 11 touchdowns, five interceptions. One rushing touchdown.

DT Montravius Adams, Auburn
Adams did not play in the blowout win over Western Carolina.
Season stats: Four tackles; four assists. One sack. Six quarterback hurries.

Ohio State was idle this week. Mitchell has not played this season and he will likely redshirt.

RB Ty Isaac, USC
Isaac was given touches late in the game and showed fairly well. He averaged 12 yards on his three carries doubling his output on the season.
Season stats: Seven carries for 58 yards.

LB Alex Anzalone, Florida
Anzalone did not play in the loss against LSU.
Season stats: One tackle.

Mizzell was in action against Maryland but his impact was limited to the special teams. He was given three carries for 13 yards and caught a pass that lost four. He returned four kicks for 55 yards.
Season stats: 19 carries for 57 yards. 10 receptions for 44 yards. 11 kickoff returns for 155 yards.

S Max Redfield, Notre Dame
Notre Dame was idle this week.
Season stats: Two assisted tackles.

Johnson participated in the loss to Virginia Tech but recorded no stats.
Season stats: Four games participated. Zero starts.

DB Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Ohio State was idle this week.
Season stats: Three tackles, three assists. One tackle for loss.

DT A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Robinson came off the bench and was a force late in the game against Kentucky. He had five solo tackles - including two sacks - and assisted on another in the victory.
Season stats: 12 tackles; five assists. Two quarterback hurries. 4.5 tackles for loss. 3.5 sacks.

Dallas Jackson is the national columnist for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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