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Good morning, sports fans: High praise for Christian Hackenberg, practice …

“I think he’s a good player, and I think they’ve done a good job keeping it fairly simple for him,” Pelini said on Monday.

“The future is really bright with him, and obviously having Coach O’Brien there, he’s obviously been around some pretty good quarterbacks and tutored some pretty good guys.

“I think he’ll develop into a really good football player. He has all the tools, I mean, you see it. He has really good arm strength and can do a lot of things. The dude does a lot of things well.”

Hackenberg, who threw for 212 yards and a touchdown in last Saturday’s 45-21 win over Purdue, ranks third in the Big Ten in passing at 239.9 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

And speaking of Penn State quarterbacks, PennLive’s David Jones took a closer look at Matt McGloin’s first career NFL start with the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Raiders beat the Houston Texans 28-23.

HIGH SCHOOL WINTER SPORTS KICKED OFF MONDAY

With the exception of football, the fall high school sports season came to a close last Saturday with state championships decided in boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, field hockey and girls’ volleyball.

Monday, however, marked the first day of practice for boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, wrestling and boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving.

PennLive’s Jeff Reinhart was at the first day of practice for the Cumberland Valley girls’ basketball team, who were last year’s PIAA Class AAAA runner-up.

Meanwhile, PennLive’s Jeremy Elliott was at Central Dauphin’s first wrestling practice of the season and updates us on the status of injured standout Garrett Peppelman

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