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College football: Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker sustains season-ending torn ACL

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker was one of the top quarterbacks in college football this season. Photo By Emma Corona/Tennessee Athletics
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker was one of the top quarterbacks in college football this season. Photo By Emma Corona/Tennessee Athletics

Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Tennessee star Hendon Hooker, one of the top quarterbacks in college football, sustained a torn ACL in the Volunteers' loss to South Carolina and will miss the rest of the season, the school announced.

The Volunteers updated Hooker's status Sunday night. The sixth-year senior completed 69.6% of his passes for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions this season. He also ran for 430 yards and five scores on 104 carries in his 11 appearances.

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"Hendon's incredible journey has been defined by faith, perseverance and strength," the Volunteers said in a news release. "Obstacles have never stood in the way of his path to greatness.

"Forever a Tennessee legend and the ultimate teammate, we know Hendon will come back stronger than ever as he embarks on a promising NFL future."

Hooker, 24, completed 25 of 42 passes for 247 yards and three scores in the Volunteers' 63-38 loss to the Gamecocks on Saturday in Columbia, S.C. He sustained his left knee injury during an option play, when he stepped awkwardly and fell to the ground with about 11:34 remaining in the game. He did not return.

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Backup quarterback Joe Milton completed 4 of 8 passes for 108 yards and a score in relief of Hooker. The redshirt senior is expected to start Saturday against Vanderbilt. The Volunteers and Commodores will kick off at 7:30 p.m. EST in Nashville.

Hooker was considered a fringe first-round or second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft before his injury.

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