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Hendon Hooker Named SEC Offensive Player Of The Year

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Dark Mode on Rocky Top. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker is the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, the conference announced Monday.

Hooker is the first Tennessee player to earn SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors since Peyton Manning in 1997.

In his second year at Tennessee, Hooker was elite. The super senior completed 70% of his passes for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in just under 11 games.

Before tearing his ACL in the fourth quarter of Tennessee’s loss against South Carolina, Hooker tallied 430 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns and was in the thick of the Heisman Trophy race.

Hooker was the preseason Second Team All SEC quarterback but earned offensive player of the year and first team honors with his elite play. The Greensboro, North Carolina native dominated in monumental program wins over Florida, LSU and Alabama.

Hooker’s performance against the Crimson Tide was his finest, throwing for 385 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 56 yards in Tennessee’s first win over Alabama since 2006.

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Hooker wasn’t the only Vol to earn SEC honors Monday afternoon. The AP voted Josh Heupel the SEC Coach of the Year for leading Tennessee to its first 10-win regular season since 2003.

Receiver Jalin Hyatt (a unanimous selection) and offensive tackle Darnell Wright joined Hooker on the All-SEC First Team while defensive end Byron Young landed on the second team.

Hyatt is a nominee for the Biletnikoff Award after tallying 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns in a breakout junior season. Moving back from left to right tackle, Wright had a huge senior season including a strong performance against Will Anderson and Alabama’s vaunted pass rush.

Young was a preseason first team selection and tallied 34 tackles and five sacks in his final season at Tennessee.

Tennessee (10-2, 6-2 SEC) is heading to the Orange Bowl where they’ll face No. 7 Clemson on Dec. 30.

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