Hendon Hooker Snubbed From Preseason Quarterback Rankings

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    Pro Football Focused released its top 10 college quarterback rankings and top four SEC quarterbacks rankings earlier this week, snubbing Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker from both lists.

    The Vols’ quarterback was behind three quarterbacks Tennessee will face this season in the national list: Bryce Young, Spencer Rattler and Kedon Slovis — who now plays at Pitt despite the USC logo by his name.

    Slovis was effective as a freshman in 2019 and in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season. However, Southern Cal benched Slovis a season ago as the quarterback threw eight interceptions to just 11 touchdowns in the Trojans’ 4-8 season.

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    Hooker was one of the nation’s most efficient passers a season ago, throwing for 2,945 yards, 31 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 12 games. The Virginia Tech transfer was effective with his legs as well, running for 620 yards and five touchdowns.

    While there’s an argument — though a weak one — that Hooker isn’t a top 10 quarterback nationally, PFF’s top four SEC quarterbacks list was even worse.

    Bryce Young is the best quarterback in the country, but PFF’s list is severely flawed after the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

    Oklahoma benched Spencer Rattler last season as the quarterback struggled, throwing for 1,483 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions before transferring to South Carolina this offseason. Rattler’s talent is clear, but his on the field production has yet to catch up.

    Mississippi State’s Will Rogers put up massive numbers in Mike Leach’s air raid offense. The sophomore threw for 4,739 yards 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rogers took a major step in his second season as a starter and is a fair choice for the list.

    Kentucky’s Will Levis has become a media darling this offseason despite recording pedestrian numbers for the Wildcats’ last season. Levis threw for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his junior season.

    Like Hooker, Levis is effective with his legs, running for 376 yards and nine touchdowns.

    Arkansas’ K.J. Jefferson also has a strong case to be on the list after throwing for 2,676 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions and running for 664 yards and six touchdowns.

    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.