What Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker Said at SEC Media Days

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    Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker met with the media in Atlanta at the SEC Media Days on Thursday.

    The Vols’ quarterback talked about his first season at Tennessee, how the expectations have changed, his ability as a runner and much more. Here’s everything he said.

    On how spring practice went

    “Spring went by well. Everyone has had their head down and keeps coming out to get  better and better. I am looking forward to the season.” 

    On Josh Heupel and trying to restore Tennessee to past success

    “Really what we were trying to do was progress forward from where we were.  Accountability wise, just as individuals and as a team collective. So just trying to build a  goal and win ballgames and build a new culture at Tennessee.”

    On how the mindset changes this season

    “It has been no different. I approach the season the same way whether I am the starter  going in or not. I am ready to come out and compete, day in and day out, and am looking  forward to fall camp and looking to get under our defense. Having the same mindset  coming in and trying to be the first one in and the last one to leave.”

    On changes during this offseason

    “I was trying to learn more and perfect. I feel like progressing on my game. I mean, I know  it will never be perfect. So there is always room to grow, and I will never go a day without  trying to improve my game.”

    On improvements this offseason

    “Just being patient and not trying to rush my reads and not rush my decisions. Just being  relaxed and in total control of the offense. Trying to lead my teammates is my end goal and  motivate them on and off the field. Just having a positive attitude and bring joy every day  on and off the field.”

    On his ability as a runner

    “Honestly, I only want to run when I have to. I love getting the ball to my players and letting  them be play makers. I will give everybody else the ball before I run it. Really, whenever I  need to or I’m in the position the team wants me to, because I will do what it takes to win.” 

    On what this July is like compared to last July

    “I feel the exact same. I am excited to play ball. It is a blessing. It is what I love to do. It is my  happy place. Whenever I am on the field, I take it and run with it, because it is my passion.  Anytime I am around my teammates or in the facility, it is a blessing. I am going to make  plays. I am here to play ball and win ballgames.”

    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.