Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker leads QB-heavy Heisman favorites

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Every year, the Heisman Trophy is handed out to the best player in college football. While it is usual for that award to go to players from notable top-tier schools, this season is a bit different. 

After defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide at home and leading the Vols to a 7-0 start, Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker is the clear favorite to take home the famous stiff-arm trophy at the end of the season — not to mention put himself in a very good spot for the NFL Draft. 

“The talent is there, but he’s also doing things over just the normal course of football… that is a great player. A great player. And I think he absolutely is playing himself into the top 10, top five in the NFL Draft,” Joel Klatt said on “The Herd.”

The other three most likely candidates are C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young (Alabama) and Caleb Williams (USC.) 

Of those, the current odds say that Hooker leads the pack as a +200 favorite. 

Hooker and Stroud are both undefeated, while Young and Williams have lost one game each. 

Hooker has thrown for 2,093 yards in seven games (299 yards per game), more than any of the other three quarterbacks. He has a QB rating of 91.4, second to only Stroud. He is the only quarterback to beat Alabama, giving him a head-to-head victory over Young in which he threw for five touchdowns, and he is tied for second in the country for the least interceptions (one). That is an 18-1 touchdown-interception ratio. 

The remaining schedule will test Tennessee and its senior quarterback. A home game against the 19th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats awaits them this Saturday, while a trip to Athens to face the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs will certainly be the game to watch on Nov. 5. 

If Hooker can continue to find ways to win and avoid some type of four-interception night, he should enter the SEC Championship Game with a chance to cement his Heisman status.





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