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Penn State Football: Christian Hackenberg And Austin Johnson Declare For NFL Draft

by on January 02, 2016 4:50 PM


Penn State junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg and defensive tackle Austin Johnson have declared for the NFL Draft, both announced their decision following Penn State's 24-17 loss to Georgia on Saturday.

“I think right now I’m going to declare for the draft," Hackenberg said as he leaned against the wall. "I want to thank Coach [Bill] O’Brien for bringing me here and his staff. There’s a lot of really good people on that staff. Tough to say, but I think without him I wouldn’t be here. He’s what this place is all about."

“A lot. In a lot of different ways,” Hackenberg added regarding what Penn State means to him. “There’s a lot of things that went on, a lot of different life lessons that I’ve learned here, not only playing football. I think it’s a really really special place and not a lot of people realize that. It’s definitely something that’s really close to my heart now. Maybe it wasn’t three years ago, but definitely a lot more than I ever thought it would be now.”

“I feel like my job at Penn State has been accomplished and it’s in good hands moving forward. I’m proud of that."

“I don’t know how it’s gonna turn out, but I know every time I stepped in that building, every time I had an opportunity to represent the university and the football program, I always tried to do it to the best of my ability and I hope that was good enough for those people. It was an honor to be a part of such a special group of guys to do something at such a special place.”

Hackenberg finishes his career as Penn State's all-time leading passer and was knocked out of Saturday's game with a sprained shoulder joint during the second quarter of play. Saturday marked Hackenberg's 38th consecutive career start over the past three seasons.

Johnson, regarded one of the best prospects in the upcoming draft if he were to declare posted the following on Twitter.


Nittany Nation, Coaches and my Brothers.

— Austin Johnson (@AJohn15) January 2, 2016

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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