Hendon Hooker(Dudley HS) in the House with the Detroit Lions, joining former Dudley Panthers Emmanuel Moseley and Mac McCain with the new Cats/Lions

It all came down to Round Three of the 2023 NFL Draft for Dudley High School product Hendon Hooker…The Greensboro/Summerfield, N.C. football player was the #68 overall pick in this year’s draft, and Hendon will be joining former Dudley Panthers Emmanuel Moseley(DB), and Mac McCain(DB), as all three of these young men from the Gate City, are now members of the Detroit Lions…..Hendon Hooker, now with the Lions, and that is one of the teams that we thought might take Hooker, as we looked at this whole draft scenario prior to the picks…

Should be a real family like feeling in the Lions’ camp come late July/early August with Hendon Hooker, Emmanuel Moseley, and Mac McCain all working to earn their spots on the Lions’ depth chart…

Very happy for Hendon Hooker and his family, his dad Alan, his mom(I think it is Wendy), his sister and younger brother Alston, with Hendon now in the fold, as a Detroit Lion, in the National Football League…

We remember back when Hendon was just getting started good over at Dudley HS….Here we are talking with him on July 30, 2015, over at the Shane’s Rib Shack, on our Football in Focus Show….

Earlier we had caught up with Hendon on our Basketball in Focus Show, back on January 22, 2015 at the Shane’s Rib Shack…

Pretty sure we did the first-ever Hendon Hooker radio interview, back when Hendon was just in 9th grade, and Dudley was playing Page, at Page, and Hendon joined us after that game, and he was star even back then…And the wild thing was, his dad Alan was listening to the interview live, from down in Houston, Texas, where Alan was then working for the Houston schools system…

Boy the memories just roll on, and more were made tonight, for the Hookers…See more below…..

from WXII TV 12/www.wxii12.com
Greensboro’s Hendon Hooker drafted by Detroit Lions
Dudley graduate Hendon Hooker was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions had a slew of selections entering the NFL draft and took advantage of those assets Friday night — and they may have found their quarterback of the future in Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker.

Detroit traded up in the second round and made two deals to move down in exchange for extra picks.

The Lions selected Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta No. 34 overall, traded up to take Alabama safety Brian Branch with the 45th pick and then got Hooker early in the third round.

Detroit acquired the pick it used to take LaPorta as part of a trade with Arizona on Thursday that gave the Cardinals the No. 6 pick overall.

The Lions used the No. 48 overall pick and a fifth-rounder to move up a few slots in a trade with Green Bay to put Branch in their revamped secondary. They later traded pick No. 55 to Kansas City in a deal that gave them the last pick in the second round and dealt that selection to Denver for the 68th pick overall.

The Lions used that pick on Hooker, who can develop behind starter Jared Goff.

The 25-year-old Hooker tore the ACL in his left knee less than five months ago. Hooker, the 2022 Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year, spent three years at Virginia Tech before finishing his college career with two seasons at Tennessee.

LaPorta said he matches up well with the former Hawkeyes who play, or have played, the position in the NFL, such as Hockenson and Dallas Clark.

“I feel like I’m right up there,” said LaPorta, who watched the draft with family and friends in his hometown of Highland, Illinois.

LaPorta had 153 career catches for 1,786 yards, ranking first in receptions and second in yards for a tight end in school history.

Detroit general manager Brad Holmes was active early in free agency, signing veterans such as Cameron Sutton to improve one of the league’s worst defenses, and Branch should bolster the secondary even more. The All-America defensive back from Fayetteville, Georgia, was one of two players in major college football to defend at least 20 passes and have four sacks over the previous three seasons.

Detroit also signed running back David Montgomery and receiver Marvin Jones this offseason to join one of the NFL’s top offenses, which now includes LaPorta and Hooker.

The Lions had a pair of selections in the first round, trading down to draft Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12 and taking Hawkeyes linebacker Jack Campbell six slots later.

Detroit is hoping rookies bolster its chances of living up to relatively high expectations for a franchise that has been a league laughingstock for decades. The Lions won eight of their final 10 games last season and finished above .500 for the first time since 2017.

“We’re about to turn the corner here and you’re going to be a big part of it,” coach Dan Campbell told Jack Campbell on the phone after Detroit drafted the Butkus Award winner.

from www.myfox8.com/WGHP FOX Sports:
Dudley High School star Hendon Hooker selected by Detroit Lions in 2023 NFL Draft

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WGHP) — The Detroit Lions have selected Greensboro-native and former Dudley High School star Hendon Hooker with the 67th pick in the Third Round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Born in Greensboro, Hooker starred at Dudley High School for three seasons from 2014-2017, winning two state titles as well countless individual awards. He spent the first three seasons of his college career at Virginia Tech University before transferring to the University of Tennessee in 2021.

Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker done for season with knee injury
Hooker started a majority of games for Virginia Tech in his final two seasons in Blacksburg posting good numbers before transferring to the University of Tennessee in 2021 where he blossomed into one of college football’s biggest superstars.

In his first year in Knoxville with the Volunteers, Hooker threw for nearly 3,000 yards, 31 touchdowns and only three interceptions for the season. Hooker also rushed for 616 yards and five touchdowns as he led Tennesse to a surprising 7-6 record with their dominant offense.

“I remember when I first joined the team, it’s funny, but right off the bat my teammates were skeptical,” Hooker said in his farewell to Tennessee published on The Players Tribune. “I think it’s that ‘SEC confidence’ they all had. It’s like they couldn’t imagine how some dude from the ACC could actually ball.

“But then we’re in my first practice, and on some of the early plays, I made our linebackers kind of touch the ground — just stumble a little bit when I shook them. And we’re in the locker room after, and everyone is just like, ‘Oh man, Hendon, I didn’t know you could move like that!! You’re fast!!’ or ‘I didn’t know you had an arm on you!!! You can sling it!!!’ And I’m just laughing so hard, and shaking my head, like, ‘Thanks, y’all. I appreciate it.’

“But as funny as that was to me, it was also big, for real,” he said. “Because my main goal when I got here was to gain my teammates’ trust and respect. I knew that had to come first. And everything else would follow.”

His second and final season in Tennessee was more of the same as he threw for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. Hooker also ran for 430 yards and five touchdowns as he led Tennessee to a 9-2 record and an upset victory over #3 Alabama which led to the Volunteers briefly being ranked as the #1 team in the nation.

Tennessee had hopes of earning a spot in the College Football Playoff, but their hopes were dashed in a disappointing loss to South Carolina on Nov. 19, 2022, that saw Hooker tear his ACL in the fourth quarter of a game that was already out of hand.

Despite the devastating knee injury, Hooker was still named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Many experts also believe that Hooker should have been a Heisman finalist despite his injury and that he assuredly would have been had he not been injured.

Despite the injury, Hooker was confident in his ability to bounce back as well as what he had shown to NFL scouts on tape as he declared for the NFL Draft while still recovering from the knee injury.

That confidence appears to have paid off for Hooker as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Hooker began dropping back and making throws on Wednesday for the first time since his injury. Hooker’s doctor has sent a letter to NFL teams stating that Hooker should be cleared to play near the start of the season.

Hooker himself also tweeted a video showing his progress just 5 months after his ACL tear.

NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein says that Hooker plays with “excellent poise and footwork as a pocket passer. He will make quarterback coaches and play-callers happy with his adherence to keeping plays on schedule.”