Tennessee QB Added to Johnny Unitas Award Preseason Watch List

    by -

    Tennessee quarterback

    Quarterback Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

    As each Tennessee quarterback works to catch the attention of the new coaching staff, one, in particular, has recently caught the attention of a national selection committee.

    The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award preseason watch list reveal was on Thursday with Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker in the group. Hooker transferred from Virginia Tech to Tennessee after the 2020 season. However, he came to Knoxville early enough to participate in spring training camp. Which has certainly helped him prepare for Tennessee’s starting quarterback competition.

    The last five Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winners have been Mac Jones from Alabama (2020), Joe Burrow from LSU (2019), Gardner Minshew II from Washington State (2018), Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State (2017), and Deshawn Watson from Clemson (2016).

    Hooker played in eight games during the shortened 2020 season for Virginia Tech. He threw for 1,339 yards and dropped in nine touchdowns. But in 2021, Hooker moved to Tennessee to find a fresh start.

    The Tennessee quarterback battle got a little smaller on Thursday afternoon, though. Quarterback Brian Maurer did announce his decision to leave Tennessee and enter the transfer portal.

    Now, with exactly two weeks remaining until Tennessee’s opener against Bowling Green, the Vols QB battle is down to three.

    Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker’s selection to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award preseason watch list is the first in his Tennessee career.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.