Former Dudley Panther Hendon Hooker has become the full-time starter for the Tennessee Volunteers…Hooker, a Greensboro, N.C. native, was thrust into the starting spot at Tennessee when Joe Milton, a Michigan transfer went down with injury…
Hooker, a Virginia Tech transfer took over the top spot for the team from Rocky Top, and Hooker has not disappointed the Volunteer faithful, and the Tennessee coaches are happy with the Hooker results too…Three touchdowns passing and one TD rushing this past Saturday for Hooker, in the big Tennessee win over Missouri…
Hooker has been hot, and let’s all hope Hendon Hooker can keep it coming, and that the son of Alan and Wendy Hooker, and the brother of Alston Hooker, will make this Tennessee hook-up a permanent fixture, for his college football future…
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Hendon Hooker has played well enough to finally earn the starting quarterback job at Tennessee.
Volunteers football coach Josh Heupel had left open the starter issue the past five weeks after initially naming Joe Milton, a redshirt junior transfer from Michigan. But an injury to Milton opened up the job to Hooker, a redshirt senior transfer from Virginia Tech.
Hooker’s performance in a rout of Missouri last weekend was enough for Heupel to finally be named the starter Monday before the Vols host South Carolina on Saturday. Hooker’s ball security helped sway his coach. He has thrown eight TD passes with no interceptions since taking over as the starter Sept. 18.
“As much as anything, it’s great comfort and understanding what we’re doing, the tempo,” Heupel said.
“He’s really in control of what’s going on at the line of scrimmage. He’s been really decisive with the football. That comes from him having his eyes in the right place.”
In the 62-24 rout of Missouri, Hooker completed 15 of 19 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran 15 times for 80 yards and a TD as the Tennessee offense looked the closest yet to the fast-paced attack Heupel wants. Tennessee has averaged 44 points and 507.7 yards a game with Hooker starting.
“He was extremely accurate the other day,” Heupel said. ” … Seeing things clearly allows you to get your body in the right spot.”
Hooker certainly has size at 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds. He also is 2-1 as a starter for Tennessee (3-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) after going 8-7 as a starter at Virginia Tech in 2018 and 2019. He had 2,894 passing yards and 22 touchdowns for Virginia Tech and rushed 247 times for 1,033 yards and 15 TDs.
He played well in the second half of the Pitt loss. He followed that up with a win over Tennessee Tech, throwing for 199 yards and three TDs while running for another. Against Florida, he threw for 221 yards and two TDs. Hooker has 206 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season.