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Penn State Football: Hackenberg Applies For Draft Evaluation, Intrigued By Moorhead Offense

by on December 18, 2015 1:00 PM

Christian Hackenberg and defensive tackle Austin Johnson have both applied for NFL Draft Board for evaluations James Franklin confirmed on Friday morning. 

"I met with both of those guys," Franklin said. "I guess it was two weeks ago, had really good meetings with them. You know, we have some services that we provide for our (players') families, as well as the players, to get some information. What we basically decided, more than anything, is  ... we want to have a plan and be organized in whatever we decide,'' Franklin said.

An evaluation is a fairly routine process for juniors interested in entering the draft prior to the completion of their eligibility. The evaluation simply states in fairly blunt terms a prospects' likely draft status and areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. Applying for an evaluation does not impact a player's eligibility.

Whatever both Hackenberg and Johnson decide, likely in the days following Penn State's Jan. 2 bowl game against Georgia, neither will announce the news without some level of formality.

"It's not going to be just someone coming out and throwing something out mid-week on a tweet. It's going to be something that we're going to try and do together and do it the way they want it to be done," Franklin said. "We're still working through those details and, really, still working through some of the answers.''

While both players are likely destined for an early entry into the draft, Hackenberg, speaking to the media on Friday was far from committed to either decision, seemingly taking the process one day at a time. Perhaps most interesting of all, a meeting between Hackenberg and newly hired offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead that lasted several hours on Thursday.

"It's pretty standard protocol for juniors in this situation," Hackenebrg said. "That's where I was going for that, but I'm really focusing on the bowl game right now."

"I sat down with him yesterday for a couple hours, picked his brain about it. I was intrigued by the offense and everything that went into it. I had never really run anything quite like the spread offense in my life so I was just kind of curious how it worked. It was pretty cool and how he breaks it down and how he teaches it." 

Is it enough for Hackenberg to come back for another season? That remains to be seen, with opinions fairly split between what the junior should or should not do it will ultimately come down to what makes the most sense for him.

And only a few people know what that is.

The rest of us just have to wait.

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