Hooker, Milton vying in different Vols landscape this August

Tennessee Athletics photo by Andrew Ferguson / Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III chose to return for a second season with the Volunteers despite losing the starting job early last September to Hendon Hooker.

Competing is competing, but competitions aren't always the same.

Tennessee began the second preseason camp of the Josh Heupel era Monday morning with Hendon Hooker and Joe Milton III taking snaps at quarterback just as they did last August in Knoxville. Yet the landscape a year ago was very different, as Hooker, Milton, Harrison Bailey and Brian Maurer were in a wide-open race for the top job.

This year's clear-cut pecking order has Hooker as the starter and Milton the backup, with freshman Tayven Jackson and Appalachian State transfer Navy Shuler further down the depth chart.

"We're kind of looking at it as he's helping me get better, and I'm helping him get better," Milton said of his second year in competition with Hooker. "We're kind of just keeping it going. When I first got here, there was some competitiveness, but we knew that deep down the road we would be one.

"When