Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hendon Hooker – the Hidden Prospect in Tennessee

Any professional sports team has had its ups and downs throughout its history. The same goes for the Tennessee Volunteers who enjoyed some fantastic days back in the 20th century but are yet to achieve success in the new millennium. According to Bovada odds for college football, the Volunteers are placed 7th to win outright the 2022 NCAAF Tournament.

Here is an overview of historical highlights in Tennessee and future projections of Hendon Hooker:

Historical ventures in Tennessee

The team has produced numerous legends including the 5-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl winner, Payton Manning, and one of the most renowned defensive ends in the entire history of the NFL, Reggie White. Douglas Leon Atkins, a two-time NFL champion with the Cleveland Browns in 1954 and with the Chicago Bears in 1963, has also spent his fundamental years as a football player in Tennessee as well. 

The University of Tennessee is ranked 11th with a 67.1%-win rate, and they have won their last National Championship in 1998 – the year after parting ways with Payton Manning. Ever since then, the Volunteers have been struggling to come up with the right recipe for success as they have never won a Division Championships game again. They ended up having decent runs in 2003, 2004, and 2007 but came up short against LSU and Auburn. 

Throughout the last decade, the team has been suffering from inconsistency which resulted in them losing their good preseason ranking. This was also the main reason why the Volunteers have been unable to easily finish with a winning record. 

However, 2022 promises to be entirely different from what was observed recently. The Vols have already defeated the likes of three ranked rivals including Pittsburgh, Florida, and LSU. The team depends much on its offense which managed to average 46.8 points across their first five games of the season. 

The progress of the Tennessee Volunteers

Led by the 24-year-old quarterback, Hendon Hooker, the Volunteers might end up with one of the best records in the SEC as they are currently right behind Georgia in the standings. Compared to his colleagues, Hooker already has 4 years of experience in college football, spending his first three years in Virginia Tech and then transferring to Tennessee in 2021.

His first season with the Vols represents his most successful performance so far in the NCAAF. The talented quarterback played in 12 games, completing 206 of 302 passes for 2,945 yards. He also made 616 rushing yards on 166 carries across the year which eventually resulted in 5 touchdowns. 

In 2022, Hooker is yet to throw his first interception which is another reason why he might be Tennessee’s long-awaited secret weapon this season. The 24-year-old has been careful with the ball recently suggesting that he has grown not only physically, but also mentally. 

However, his success is also due to the Volunteers’ incredible wide receivers. Cedric Tillman, Jalin Hyatt, and Bru McCoy are currently their in-form offensive players who further allow Hooker to unleash his potential. Their sophomore, Walker Merrill, has also produced high-quality performance despite his little playing time, averaging 16.8 yards per reception. 

Josh Heupel’s impact 

Moreover, Josh Heupel’s tactics seem to be working pretty well for the team so far. Shortly after finding out that he won’t be able to be competitive enough due to shoulder tendinitis, Heupel went on to pursue a coaching career. After spending several years in Oklahoma, the talented coach found his maiden success at the University of Central Florida. 

He led the UCF Knights to a 12-1 record in the regular season in 2018 which meant that they have won the ACC Championship. This achievement helped him win the FWAA First-Year Coach of the Year award the same year. Three seasons later, he was once again acknowledged with the prize, this time as a head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers. 

He is certainly one of the main reasons for Hooker’s improved all-around plays. His football IQ has gone through the roof following this one season with Josh Heupel as his head coach. 

Heupel’s antics have been recognized by some of the most experienced coaches in NFL history and he will certainly do his best to further develop the current Volunteers’ team. Having in mind that his focus is mainly on offense, this will immensely benefit the likes of Hendon Hooker, Jalin Hyatt, and Cedric Tillman.

Hendon Hooker’s 2022 stats

The 24-year-old senior might be one of the hidden favorites for the Heisman Trophy. Even though CJ Stroud seems to be an easy pick for the award halfway through the regular season, anything can happen in the remainder of the campaign. Hendon Hooker won’t give up without a decent fight which means that his opponents should be prepared well for his throws. 

The Vols’ quarterback is at a pace for topping his best stats from last season, thus drawing even more attention to himself. Hooker’s quarterback rating is the best in SEC (179.5), while his completion percentage (70%) puts him in second place behind Mississippi’s State Will Rogers (71.6%). 

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.
RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments