Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg Earns Manning Award Player of the Week Honor park
Christian Hackenberg, a freshman from Penn State, has been selected as Manning Award Player of the Week. He earns the win over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.
Earning his fifth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor, Hackenberg helped the Nittany Lions snap No. 15 Wisconsin’s six-game winning streak by registering his fourth 300-yard game with a career-high in TD passes (four) in a 31-24 road win to close their season 7-5.
The starting signal-caller in every game for Coach Bill O’Brien’s Nittany Lions, Hackenberg’s five Big Ten Freshman of the Week selections are the most for a conference player since 2010, when Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was honored six times.
For the season, Hackenberg was 231-of-392 for 2,955 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten in completions and his 20 touchdown passes are one off the Big Ten lead. He finished third in yardage on the Penn State single-season chart.
Hackenberg’s top competitors in the Facebook contest were Nick Mullens of Southern Miss and Keith Wenning of Ball State.Trailing 21-13 at the half, Mullens provided a spark for the Golden Eagles with four third-quarter touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) as Southern Miss beats UAB, 62-27, to snap the nation’s longest losing streak at 23 games. Wenning notched a career-best in touchdowns and matched his top yardage total as he led the Cardinals to a 10-win season with a 55-14 win over Miami (Ohio).
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
Ten finalists for the honor have been announced (Manning Award Finalists) and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the BCS National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 6.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its 10th winner this year. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, then-winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. McCoy was followed by top-two NFL Draft picks – Auburn’s Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers and then Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, was the 2012 winner prior to being the No. 2 overall pick by the Washington Redskins. This past season’s winner was Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel, who became the first freshman to earn the honor.