Breaking down why Hendon Hooker should be a Heisman Trophy finalist

Redshirt senior quarterback Hendon Hooker’s collegiate career ended Nov. 19 at South Carolina.

The 6-foot-4, 218-pound quarterback suffered a season-ending injury versus the Gamecocks with a torn ACL in his left knee.

During the 2022 season, Hooker guided the Vols with wins versus Alabama, Florida and LSU.

In 11 games this season, he completed 229-of-329 passing attempts for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. Hooker recorded 430 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 104 attempts.

Despite a season-ending injury with one regular-season game remaining, Hooker is a candidate for the Heisman Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football.

The University of Tennessee provided the following statistics regarding Hooker and his pursuit as a Heisman Memorial Trophy candidate and finalist.

The captain of the nation’s No. 1 total offense (540.4) and scoring offense (46.5) who ranks No. 3 in the FBS in QB Passer Rating (175.51) and No. 3 in the nation in yards per attempt (9.5).

Under his leadership, resurrected a program that was 3-7 and in disarray prior to his arrival before suffering a season-ending torn ACL injury in his left knee against South Carolina on Nov. 19.

Leads the nation in wins over current (Nov. 22) CFP top seven teams with two and combined for 736 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns in those contests (defeated current No. 5 LSU, No. 7 Alabama).

Tied for the national lead in victories over AP Top 25 teams at the time of the meeting with five and combined for 1,817 yards of total offense and 16 touchdowns in those games.

The only FBS QB in the nation with 25 or more touchdown passes and two or fewer interceptions (27:2).

Accounted for 3,565 yards of total offense and 32 touchdowns this season, while facing the nation’s second-toughest schedule (ESPN FPI) and four FBS total defenses that rank in the top 25 as of Nov. 22 (No. 5 Georgia, No. 15 Alabama, No. 16 Pitt, No. 19 Kentucky) … Through the air was 229-of-329 for 3,135 yards and 27 touchdowns with two interceptions to go along with 430 yards rushing on 104 attempts with four scores on the ground in 11 games played.

Nationally, ranks fifth in completion percentage (69.6), fifth in yards per play (8.23), while tying for first in 30+ Yard Pass Plays (27) and 40+ Yard Pass Plays (17).

In a 52-49 win over current No. 7 Alabama, accounted for 441 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. Was 21-of-30 through the air for 385 yards and five touchdown passes, the most by a player vs. Alabama since Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel had five on Sept. 14, 2013.

Against a scoring defense that currently ranks No. 11 in the FBS, fired two passes for 45 yards in the final 13 seconds that set up the game-winning field goal against the Tide in a legendary effort.

In a 27-point road win over current No. 5 LSU, accounted for 295 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, including 17-of-27 passing for 239 yards. Was the Vols’ largest win in the series since 1940.

In a non-conference Power Five game at Pitt, accounted for 352 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 28-yard score in overtime.

Leads the SEC in five different categories: total offense (324.1), passing efficiency (175.51), completion percentage (69.6), yards per attempt (9.5) and points responsible for (194).

Is the second-highest graded Power Five quarterback this season according to Pro Football Focus (90.8).

Co-author of a children’s scripture book, “The ABCs of Scripture for Athletes” with his brother, Alston.

Story originally appeared on Vols Wire