from Mike Niziolek with the Roanoke Times, at www.roanoke.com:
BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker(Dudley High School) is back on campus looking to pick up where he left off.
The Hokies started voluntary workouts on June 16, but Hooker was one of the players who left campus back in March and wasn’t brought back until last week.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the sports world upside down, Hooker went into the offseason looking to build on his successful stint as starter. He helped turn Tech’s 2019 season around, going 6-2 under center with 1,900-plus total yards and 18 touchdowns.
Hooker focused his early efforts on further cementing himself as a locker room leader by frequently popping into the weight room to support his teammates before and after his own workout. Tech’s strength and conditioning staff split the team up into three groups for the winter offseason conditioning program.
On one particular “big squat Friday” in February, Hooker worked out in the early morning and was back in the weight room a couple hours later for the afternoon weightlifting session to cheer on the likes of Maxx Philpott, Austin Cannon, Keshon Artis and Brock Hoffman lift upwards of 600 pounds.
When the team parted ways a few weeks later, Hooker returned home to Greensboro where his focus shifted from building camaraderie to staying physically prepared while the team was apart.
“He was always comparing what he would be doing back on campus (in a normal year),” Hendon’s father Alan said in a phone interview with The Roanoke Times. “He was training hard, he was pushing himself because he was worried he wasn’t doing enough. If he was at school he would have coaches constantly pushing him, so he always went a little harder.”
That meant working out twice a day with very few off days.
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