Hooker, Heupel Garner AP SEC Yearly Honors, Four Vols Tabbed All-SEC

Hooker, Heupel Garner AP SEC Yearly Honors, Four Vols Tabbed All-SEC

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Associated Press announced Monday afternoon that Tennessee redshirt senior quarterback Hendon Hooker was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year, while Vols head coach Josh Heupel was picked as the AP SEC Coach of the Year. Additionally, four Vols were tabbed to the AP’s All-SEC teams.

Hooker is Tennessee’s first AP SEC Offensive Player of the Year since former quarterback Peyton Manning received the distinction in 1997. Heupel is the first Tennessee head coach to be tabbed SEC Coach of the Year by the AP since Phillip Fulmer earned the honor after an undefeated campaign in 1998.

ADVERTISINGJunior wide receiver Jalin Hyatt and senior offensive tackle Darnell Wright joined Hooker in representing the Big Orange on the 2022 AP All-SEC First Team. Hyatt was one of five players in the league to be a unanimous first-team selection alongside Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins and Arkansas running back Raheim Sanders.

Senior edge rusher Byron Young rounded out Tennessee’s AP All-SEC selections, being tabbed to the panel’s defensive second team.

A finalist for the Maxwell Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Hooker captained an offense that led the nation in scoring offense (47.3) and total offense (538.1). The sixth-year senior from Greensboro, North Carolina, completed 229-of-329 passes for 3,135 yards and 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions while adding 430 rushing yards and five scores on the ground. He finished the regular season ranking atop the SEC in passing efficiency (175.5), total offense (324.1), completion percentage (69.6) and yards per attempt (9.53).

Heupel guided the Vols to a 10-win regular season for the first time since 2003 in his second year at the helm on Rocky Top, and Tennessee was tabbed No. 6 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Touting wins over final CFP No. 5 Alabama and current AP No. 16 LSU in Baton Rouge, the Big Orange secured a New Year’s Six bowl berth for the first time in the College Football Playoff era—gearing up to take on the No. 7 Clemson Tigers in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Friday, Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. ET in Miami.

Hyatt, a Biletnikoff Award finalist, took home the SEC receiving triple crown—leading the league in receptions (67), receiving yards (1,267) and receiving touchdowns (15). His 15 scores also lead the FBS, while his 1,267 yards rank fourth nationally and are 31 shy of tying the program record set by Marcus Nash in 1997.

A talented, powerful tackle and two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week this season, Wright has played a team-high 829 snaps this season without allowing a sack. The 2023 NFL Draft Prospect anchors the nation’s No. 1 offense and is one of just 14 Power Five offensive linemen with more than 825 snaps played and no sacks allowed this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Young dominated up front and finished the regular season leading the Volunteer defense with 10 tackles for loss, five sacks and 14 quarterback hurries. The senior from Georgetown, South Carolina, was twice named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after strong performances at Pittsburgh and LSU, totaling 4.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks across those outings.

2022 Associated Press All-SEC Honors

Offensive Player of the Year:Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
Defensive Player of the Year: Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama
Coach of the Year:Josh Heupel, Tennessee
Newcomer of the Year: Quinshon Judkins, RB, Ole Miss

FIRST TEAM
Offense
WR — Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee*
WR — Dominic Lovett, Missouri
T — Broderick Jones, Georgia
T — Darnell Wright, Tennessee
G — O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida
G — Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama
C — Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
TE — Brock Bowers, Georgia*
QB — Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
RB — Quinshon Judkins, Mississippi*
RB — Raheim Sanders, Arkansas*
PK — Jack Podlesny, Georgia
AP — Lideatrick Griffin, Mississippi State

Defense
DE — BJ Ojulari, LSU
DE — Isaiah McGuire, Missouri
DT — Jalen Carter, Georgia
DT — ByronlYoung, Alabama
LB — Will Anderson, Jr., Alabama*
LB — Drew Sanders, Arkansas
LB — Harold Perkins Jr., LSU
CB — Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
CB — Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
S — Christopher Smith, Georgia, 5-11, 195, Sr., Atlanta
S — Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M, 6-3, 195, Jr., East St. Louis, Illinois
P — Kai Kroeger, South Carolina, 6-4, 207, Jr., Lake Forest, Illinois

* – unanimous selection

SECOND TEAM
Offense
WR — Antwane Wells Jr., South Carolina
WR — Will Sheppard, Vanderbilt
T — Dalton Wagner, Arkansas
T — Javon Foster, Missouri
G — Beaux Limmer, Arkansas
G — Ethan White, Florida
C — Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
TE — Darnell Washington, Georgia
QB — Bryce Young, Alabama
RB — Devon Achane, Texas A&M
RB — Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
PK — Will Reichard, Alabama
AP — Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama

Defense
DE — Derick Hall, Auburn
DE — Byron Young, Tennessee
DT — Mekhi Wingo, LSU
DT — Deone Walker, Kentucky
LB — Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Georgia
LB — Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State
LB — Ty’Ron Hopper, Missouri
CB — Kelee Ringo, Georgia
CB — D.J. James, Auburn
S — Jordan Battle, Alabama
S — Brian Branch, Alabama
P — Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M

-UT Athletics

PITTSBURGH, PA – September 10, 2022 – Head Coach Josh Heupel and Quarterback Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers after the game between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Tennessee Volunteers at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

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