Hooker, Hyatt Recognized As Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalists

Hooker, Hyatt Recognized As Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalists

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Walter Camp Football Foundation announced Wednesday afternoon that Tennessee redshirt-senior quarterback Hendon Hooker and junior wide receiver Jalin Hyatt are two of 22 semifinalists for the 2022 Walter Camp Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest college football award in the nation.

Hooker and Hyatt represent two of seven players from the Southeastern Conference selected as semifinalists for the prestigious honor, while Tennessee is one of six schools in the country with multiple players on the list (Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon, USC).

A first team Midseason All-American by multiple outlets, finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award, Hooker has been spectacular in facilitating the nation’s No. 1 offense in terms of scoring and total yards per game. The Greensboro, North Carolina, native has completed 204-of-287 passes (71.1 percent) for 2,888 yards with 24 touchdowns and two interceptions—good for a passer efficiency rating of 181.8 which ranks atop the SEC and second nationally.

This season, Hooker leads the SEC in ranks seventh in the FBS and first in the SEC in total offense (329.3), and he leads the nation in yards per attempt (10.06). His completion percentage of 71.1 leads the SEC and ranks second in the FBS, while his 14.16 yards per completion is first in the SEC and ninth in the FBS.

The sixth-year senior has captained the Vols to wins over five AP Top 25 opponents this season, tied for the most of any team in the nation and the most ever for UT over the course of a regular season. The second-ranked Vols tout victories over No. 17 Pittsburgh (34-27), No. 20 Florida (38-33), No. 25 LSU (40-13), No. 3 Alabama (52-49) and No. 19 Kentucky (44-6).

In just 23 games played at Tennessee, Hooker has made his way up the Volunteer career charts. The signal caller ranks fifth in UT history with 55 passing touchdowns, sixth with 6,854 total yards and ninth with 5,833 passing yards over his past two seasons on Rocky Top. He owns school records for consecutive attempts without an interception (261) and consecutive games with a touchdown pass (20).

A prime candidate for the Biletnikoff Award and semifinalist for the Maxwell Award putting together a historic campaign, Hyatt leads the nation with a school-record 15 receiving touchdowns this season—two touchdowns more than the next closest player in the country (Nathaniel Dell, Houston). Through 10 games, Hyatt leads the SEC and ranks second nationally with 1,116 receiving yards—the third-most in a single season in school history and 182 shy of tying the program record.

Hyatt has produced five 100-yard games and five games with multiple touchdown catches while showcasing his big-play ability throughout the entire fall. He is tops in the country in 30+ yard receiving plays (14), 40+ yard receiving plays (10), 50+ yard plays (6) and 60+ yard receiving plays (4) and has produced more 40-yard receiving plays this season (10) than 12 SEC programs have recorded as a team.

The Irmo, South Carolina, native delivered the greatest wide receiver performance in school history on Oct. 15 as Tennessee downed then-No. 3 Alabama. He caught six passes for 207 yards and an SEC record-tying five touchdowns, leading the Vols to victory over the Tide for the first time since 2006. He also tied the single-game program record for points scored by touchdown with 30, a mark that evened with Gene McEver who had 30 points on five rushing scores against South Carolina on Dec. 7, 1929.

The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 131 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. A list of five finalists will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 30, and the winner will be announced on ESPN’s College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 8.

Since the award’s inception in 1967, no Volunteers have won the Walter Camp Player of the Year award. Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel claimed the honor in 2000 after leading the Oklahoma Sooners to a BCS National Championship as the starting quarterback.

2022 Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalists
Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh, RB
Will Anderson Jr., Alabama, LB
Stetson Bennett IV, Georgia, QB
Brock Bowers, Georgia, TE
Chase Brown, Illinois, RB
Zach Charbonnet, UCLA, RB
Blake Corum, Michigan, RB
Jayden Daniels, LSU, QB
Max Duggan, TCU, QB
Marvin Harrison Jr, Ohio State, WR
Hendon Hooker, Tennessee, QB
Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee, WR
Drake Maye, North Carolina, QB
Michael Mayer, Notre Dame, TE
Bo Nix, Oregon, QB
Michael Penix Jr., Washington, QB
Bijan Robinson, Texas, RB
Noah Sewell, Oregon, LB
CJ Stroud, Ohio State, QB
Tuli Tuipulotu, USC, DL
Caleb Williams, USC, QB
Bryce Young, Alabama, QB

-UT Athletics

Vols WR Jalin Hyatt & QB Hendon Hooker / Credit: UT Athletics

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