James Franklin on Hackenberg: ‘Can be franchise QB’

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Former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg might not have had a great career after head coach Bill O’Brien left for the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a successful end to his career. James Franklin took over for O’Brien, but he still seems to believe in Hackenberg.

Franklin joined the NFL Network on Thursday and talked about Hackenberg’s potential in the NFL. He said that Hackenberg could be a “franchise quarterback” if he is given the right opportunity.

“Depending on the situation he walks into, I think he can be a franchise quarterback, but I think there’s very few guys that are able to walk in from Day 1 and make that transition,” Franklin said. “… I think the ideal situation for any quarterback, including Christian, is to be able to come in, be around a veteran quarterback that’s really skilled and learn from that guy (for) a year or so. Now, when you’re able to step in, he is ready to handle that situation.”

Hackenberg had a great season in his freshman year when threw for 2,955 yards and 20 touchdowns, helping him win Big Ten Freshman of the Year. James Franklin took over after the 2013 season and Hackenberg felt the impact of having to switch coaches.

He will still likely be drafted in April, but his success is likely going to depend on what team picks him up.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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