Hendon Hooker’s Bold Prediction for Tennessee Football in 2023

Hendon Hooker Wins Heisman Trophy Fan Vote

Hendon HookerTennessee QB Hendon Hooker. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

During RTI’s one-on-one with Hendon Hooker at SEC Media Days, the former Volunteer quarterback made many bold predictions for the Vols this season.

Of the three bold predictions he made, Joe Milton III winning the Heisman was probably the most-realistic.

Not that his predictions for Tennessee as a whole this season are outlandish, but they would involve at least going 11-1 and beating Georgia in mid-November.

“They’re capable of winning the National Championship,” Hooker said about Tennessee this season. “I’m looking forward to them going out and dominating this year, really putting on a show every Saturday.”

Not only his Hooker predicting his former team to hoist the National Championship trophy in Houston next January, he is also projecting the Vols to win their first SEC title in 25 years.

“SEC Championship. National Championship,” Hooker claimed when asked what his specific prediction is for 2023.

Hendon Hooker’s prediction for Tennessee Football in 2023 pic.twitter.com/5DALwUL8d8

— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) July 17, 2023

A nightmarish night in Columbia, South Carolina, last November ended Tennessee’s chances at making the College Football Playoff. But if Tennessee’s defense doesn’t get carved up by Spencer Rattler and Hendon Hooker doesn’t tear his ACL and the Vols win that game, they would’ve made the CFP.

USC lost the Pac-12 Championship, Ohio State lost handedly to Michigan in The Game, and TCU lost the Big 12 Championship. Tennessee would’ve found themselves in the CFP with a legitimate shot at winning it all.

Georgia was clearly the better team, so Tennessee probably would not have won the National Championship even if they made the CFP. But they could’ve. Ohio State gave Georgia all they could handle, and if the Vols had a healthy Hendon Hooker, they were not far behind and maybe even better than the Buckeyes in 2022.

We can get into what-ifs all day long when looking at last year. It’s time to focus on 2023.

For Hooker’s prediction to come true, many things have to happen. Joe Milton III has to be a legit Heisman candidate, Tennessee’s offensive line must hold up, and their pass rush has to be even better than it was last season.

It’s a tall order for all three of those things to happen. But if they do, especially if Milton is among the best QBs in the country, Tennessee could reach the promised land in Heupel’s third year.

Author: Ethan Moore