Throughout history, there have been plenty of players who attempted to play multiple sports at the collegiate level, while very few have made it professionally in two sports. Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders are two names that come to mind when thinking of multi-sport athletes.
Hippenhammer is a member of both the Penn State football and baseball programs. Serving as a wide receiver on Saturdays in the fall, he makes his way over to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in the spring, roaming the outfield for head coach Rob Cooper.
Playing one sport in college is difficult in its own right but balancing two is a juggling act that even the greatest juggler might not be able to handle. Even so, Hippenhammer finds a way to do just that.
Hippenhammer made his collegiate debut in both baseball and football in each team’s respective 2018 season. On the diamond, he made only seven appearances, three starts, while balancing spring football practice and his duties on the baseball field.
On the gridiron, Hippenhammer had a limited role for head coach James Franklin’s team. He recorded six receptions for just over 100 yards and a touchdown in 2018, his redshirt freshman season.
After seeing limited action in both sports in 2018, Hippenhammer is expected to assume a larger role for both teams as 2019 moves along. He earned a pair of starts this past weekend against Minnesota and is hitting .346 over nine games thus far for the Diamond Lions.
If the early sample size shows anything, Hippenhammer is in for a strong season on the diamond. On the football field, he should see an expanded role following the departures of a few key wide receivers. His action may have been limited on the football field last season, but he showed plenty of flashes of brilliance.
To play two sports is one thing, but to excel in both is on a whole another level. If that is something Hippenhammer can manage to do, then he may go down as a Penn State legend.
Could we be seeing the next Bo or Deion in Hippenhammer? If he continues to progress, then quite possibly we could hear his name in both the NFL and MLB drafts in the near future.
Will Hippenhammer pick both? Will he go the Kyler Murray route and pick football, or opt for baseball? Those are all things that remain to be seen. But pay close attention to Hippenhammer, Penn State fans, because maybe the next Jackson or Sanders is right in our backyard here in Happy Valley.
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