A record-setting University of Tennessee quarterback who opted to return for another season instead of turning pro says he wants to use his talents to “spread the Word of Jesus Christ.”
Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, who announced in December that he would return for the 2022 season instead of placing his name in the NFL Draft, helped the Vols break multiple records last year, including a school record for points in a season and a program record of 124 consecutive pass attempts without an interception to begin his career. Sports Illustrated ranks him as a Top 50 prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft and predicts he will be the fifth quarterback chosen.
An outspoken Christian, Hooker and his brother, Alston, recently released a book filled with their favorite Bible verses. Designed for children in the form of a comic book, it’s titled The ABC’s of Scripture for Athletes.
Hooker spoke about his faith this month at First Baptist Church in Morristown, Tenn. He was interviewed by the church’s pastor, Dean Haun.
He said he and his brother had their young cousin in mind when designing the book.
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“We felt like that would be a good tool for him to use to grow as a learner and grow his relationship with Christ,” Hooker said.
Hooker grew up in a church-going home in Greensboro, N.C., and was the middle child of three. His parents, he said, instilled in him the desire to work hard and embrace his faith.
“Growing up in church, you’re around it all the time, so you really have no choice but to attend,” he said, laughing. “I remember us growing up in children’s church, we had a lot of activities. My dad used to lead activities all the time in children’s church. We used to have game nights where we would play basketball or have laser tag, but it was always a message within the game.