Hooker Named Semifinalist for Davey O’Brien Award

FORT WORTH, Texas – Tennessee redshirt senior Hendon Hooker has been named a Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award semifinalist, as announced by the Davey O’Brien Foundation on Tuesday.

Hooker is one of 16 semifinalists, including five from the SEC, and is the first UT signal caller to be named a semifinalist for the award since Erik Ainge in 2006. Peyton Manning is the only Vols’ quarterback to ever win the award, doing so in 1997.

Vols QB Hendon Hooker / Credit: UT Athletics

The complete Davey O’Brien semifinalists list can be seen HERE.

Hooker has been nothing short of spectacular for the Vols in his first season on Rocky Top, leading a high-powered offense that ranks among the top 25 nationally in points per game (15th – 38.2), total offense (21st – 457.7) and rushing offense (18th – 217.1).

The Greensboro, North Carolina, native ranks fourth in the FBS with a 190.01 QB passer efficiency rating, which is on pace to shatter the previous program record of 163.00 held by Darryl Dickey (1985). For the year, Hooker is completing 69.3 percent of his passes (129-186) – which is also on pace to be a new program single-season record – and has thrown for 1,894 yards and 21 touchdown passes with just two interceptions. With a career-high four touchdown passes in a road win at No. 18 Kentucky on Nov. 6, Hooker passed Peyton Manning’s 1996 season of 20 TD passes for 10th on the program’s single-season list.

Hooker has accounted for multiple touchdowns in eight consecutive games entering this weekend’s showdown with No. 1 Georgia and has thrown four touchdown passes of 70-plus yards this season, which is tied for the most in the country. His 21 total touchdown passes is a career high, surpassing his previous best of 13 while at Virginia Tech in 2019. Of the 17 quarterbacks to throw 20 or more touchdown passes this season, Hooker has thrown the fewest interceptions with a 21:2 ratio, including an impressive 8:1 ratio against ranked opponents.

The Virginia Tech transfer has also been dangerous running the ball, ranking second on the team with 458 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

The next step in the award process will be to select the three finalists based on voting from the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee as well as the second round of the Davey O’Brien Fan Vote, which will take place on the award’s three social media accounts—InstagramTwitter and Facebook. The top five vote getters on each platform will receive bonus committee member ballots which will be added to the votes cast by the National Selection Committee. 

To participate in the Fan Vote, fans must like the original Davey O’Brien Award post highlighting the quarterback. Each round of the selection process will offer two one-week voting periods for fans. 

The three finalists will be tabbed on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The winner will be announced live on Thursday, Dec. 9 on The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN. 

-UT Athletics

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