Hendon Hooker Details Manning Passing Academy Experience

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    In late June, Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker hopped on a delayed flight out of Knoxville destined for Louisiana. Hooker was heading down to the Manning Passing Academy to participate as one of the counselors in the event alongside several other current collegiate quarterbacks.

    While working with the Manning Passing Academy, Hooker had the chance to work out with and compete with some of the other top quarterbacks from around the nation, including 11 other quarterbacks from the SEC. Hooker spoke about some of his Manning Passing Academy experiences while at SEC Media Days in Atlanta last week.

    “It was a great experience, a blessing to be there,” Hooker said during SEC Media Days. “Learned some great things from some great football minds being around the first family. Being around the Manning family, they showed me nothing but love and I love them right back.”

    “Great experience coaching kids,” Hooker continued on to say. “You’re out there all day and playing ball so that’s something I love to do – doesn’t matter where at or who with. Whenever it’s ball being played or being talked about, I want to be around it.”

    More from RTI: Hendon Hooker and Cedric Tillman: On-Field Teammates, Off-Field Rap Rivals

    As mentioned earlier, Hooker was just one of several quarterbacks working the camp. In total, 45 college quarterbacks were in attendance for the camp in late June.

    While working, Hooker roomed with Oregon quarterback Ty Thomspon, Toledo quarterback DeQuan Finn, and Vanderbilt quarterback Mike Wright. While speaking to the media last week, Hooker said that he was eager to go out and talk to all of the quarterbacks out there at the camp.

    “Yeah, everybody,” Hooker said. “Really tried to venture out to everybody, not just SEC guys. Talking to guys from other conferences as well. Just trying to get to know everybody because the quarterback community is a special thing. My roommates were Ty Thompson, D.Q. (DeQuan) Finn from Toledo, and Mike Wright. So as soon as I got there, I got there kind of late because my flight got delayed, got there late at night, and those guys kind of woke up out of their beds to welcome me to the camp. And that was a special thing. Me and Mike [Wright] have always been kind of cool along the way. And being able to be around those two guys – Ty Thompson, he can throw the mess out of the ball and D.Q. Finn, he’s crazy athletic – and their personalities, we all just kind of clicked.”

    And, of course, Hooker got to meet up with Tennessee legend and Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.

    Manning has been around the Tennessee program quite a bit lately, taking an interest in Tennessee’s quarterbacks in particular. Aside from the already well-known and established relationship with Hendon Hooker, Manning was also seen talking to then-Tennessee quarterback commit Tayven Jackson prior to one of Tennessee’s November football games.

    If Jackson continues to progress at Tennessee, there is a great chance that he will also end up as a Manning Passing Academy counselor here in the next few years. The same can also be said with current Tennessee quarterback commit Nico Iamaleava.

    No matter who the quarterback is at Tennessee, they’re always going to have a line of communication with Peyton Manning. That’s one of the top-selling points of the position at Tennessee, no?

    “It was a cool experience to be out there with one of the best quarterbacks in the nation,” Hooker said during SEC Media Days.

    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.