Hendon Hooker a 'certifiable dude' as tough Tennessee quarterback

Tennessee's transfer quarterback among the nation's most efficient

Tennessee Athletics photo by Andrew Ferguson / Tennessee fifth-year senior quarterback Hendon Hooker began this season as Joe Milton's backup but now ranks among the nation's top five in passing efficiency.

He didn't win the job as Tennessee's starting quarterback during spring practice or before the season opener against Bowling Green.

He's got it now.

Hendon Hooker, the graduate transfer from Virginia Tech, has left Tennessee's quarterback competition in the rear-view mirror as the Volunteers reach the midway mark of their regular season with Saturday's home game against South Carolina. Also in the past is the discussion of the quarterback position being a liability for the Vols, with Hooker currently ranking fifth nationally in passing efficiency.

"Through spring and through camp, there was a calm demeanor about him," Tennessee first-year offensive coordinator Alex Golesh said Tuesday in a news conference. "There was a sense of collectedness and a sense of maturity. Good or bad, whatever happened, the response was always the same.