Hendon Hooker, Cedric Tillman Talk Football Futures

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    Tennessee Quarterback Hendon Hooker

    Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

    Cedric Tillman continued his breakout 2021 season Saturday afternoon, hauling in six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t Hendon Hooker’s best performance of the season, but, still, the senior quarterback tallied 231 yards and two touchdowns.

    The redshirt junior receiver and senior quarterback have played themselves into NFL Draft conversations this season and will have decisions to make on their football futures following the season.

    Postgame, the two met with the media and provided limited updates on their future plans. Let’s start with Hooker who didn’t go through senior day festivities pregame.

    “Just kind of been focused on Vanderbilt this week and the gameplay that we had and preparing for their defense,” Hooker said of why he didn’t go through senior day. “They came in very energized from their impressive performance last week so just getting ready for them.”

    Hooker didn’t provide a timeline for when he might make a decision on his NFL future saying he’d decide, “when the time is right.”

    The senior quarterback who can play an extra season due to NCAA COVID-19 eligibility relief wasn’t going to tip his hand postgame.

    “Just wait,” Hooker said.

    Photo via Tennessee Athletics

    Tillman provided less details about his football future and more about his excellent season and goal to reach 1,000 yards by the end of the bowl game.

    “A decision will be made later,” Tillman said with a smile.

    Postgame, Josh Heupel spoke incredibly highly of Tillman, making a sales pitch by saying he believes big things are ahead for the redshirt-junior receiver next year in Knoxville.

    “Believe his best football is still ahead of him,” Heupel said. “Because of his work habits he constantly gets better. … He has the chance to be an extremely dominant football player next year. A guy that has a chance to do some really special things and help this program win.”

    Tennessee now awaits its bowl destination which will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 5.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.