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Jeremy Pruitt talks about the addition of Hendon Hooker

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Virginia Tech v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

We had some big, positive news hit the Tennessee football program on Thursday afternoon for a change. The Volunteers earned a commitment from transferring quarterback Hendon Hooker, who comes from Virginia Tech. On Friday, Tennessee made things official and announced the addition.

The 6-4 dual-threat quarterback was a big get for the Vols, who will have to replace Jarrett Guarantano and JT Shrout in 2021.

“We look forward to Hendon joining the Tennessee football family this semester,” Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt said in the announcement. “Hendon is a very talented and dynamic quarterback with multiple years of Power Five experience. He will be a great addition to our quarterback room and make a positive impact with two years of eligibility remaining.”

Hooker, a junior, has started 15 games over the last two seasons for the Hokies. In those two seasons, Hooker has run for over 1,000 yards and thrown for nearly 3,000 more. He enters the quarterback race at Tennessee at a time when they could use a veteran. Brian Maurer and Harrison Bailey are the only returning players, while four-star prospect Kaidon Salter will join the team this spring. Bailey was the expected starter before Hooker’s arrival — now things get more interesting.

Hooker told 247Sports that the Tennessee coaching staff has promised him only “a fair shot” in the quarterback race this spring and fall. Obviously, the offense would transform with Hooker taking the snaps under center. You’d see a more QB-run attack instead of the traditional Jim Chaney looks we’ve seen over the last two seasons with Guarantano, Bailey, and Shrout.

Attention in the quarterback race now turns to the spring, where Hooker will have several practices to get comfortable in the system.