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Archie Manning reveals story that exemplifies why Hendon Hooker will succeed in NFL

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison04/04/23

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Archie Manning is the patriarch of the Manning family, a legendary family of quarterbacks. Now, a new series on ESPN+ called “On the Clock” will feature the Mannings interacting with some of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Promoting the show, Manning appeared on SportsCenter, where he spoke about the quarterbacks, including the often overlooked Hendon Hooker.

“Well, he transferred from Virginia Tech,” Manning said. “Rest assured, we’re always going to have the Tennessee quarterback at our camp. You can just bet on that if you know what I mean.”

Obviously, Peyton Manning has some influence on who shows up at the Manning’s camp. However, Hooker stood out for coming when he didn’t need to be there and just doing what he could to get better as a player.

“But, I think what impressed me about Hendon, the day before when he was working out in Knoxville, he got hit in the mouth. I’m not sure if it was with a football, probably was, knocked a tooth out and the trainers said don’t go. You don’t need to go down there, you really don’t need to work for the next three or for days. It’s nothing bad. He came anyway and he only threw a little bit but he came just to be around other guys. He came to be around Peyton and Eli, he came to kind of learn some things in their meetings. Just outstanding human being.”

As Archie Manning pointed out, Hendon Hooker got a tough break toward the end of the season, tearing his ACL. Despite the injury, he is still climbing up draft boards.

“We followed him close throughout the year. What a year he had. What a year he was having. He had that unfortunate injury. That just was not right because I’m not sure if he was going to win the Heisman Trophy or not but they were doing some great things,” Manning said. “But, he’s handled it so well. I check in with him often. He’s got a great, positive attitude. I think Hendon Hooker’s gonna make some NFL team a really, really good quarterback one day.”

In Todd McShay’s latest mock draft, Hendon Hooker is projected to go in the first round. Meanwhile, former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum thinks Hooker should be a top-10 pick.

Hendon Hooker on his injury recovery

As Manning noted, Hendon Hooker is recovering from an ACL tear. Now, Hooker feels confident that he is where he needs to be in the recovery process.

“So the next checkpoint is in a week and a half and get to drop back,” Hooker said

“Actually take some actual drops, but I feel good. Just coming out here and being able to be back on the field and throw it to my guys has been a blast.”