Heisman Candidate Hendon Hooker Says Prayer Is Essential to Life: God Has 'Blessed Me'

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Heisman Candidate Hendon Hooker Says Prayer Is Essential to Life: God Has 'Blessed Me'

Heisman Candidate Hendon Hooker Says Prayer Is Essential to Life: God Has 'Blessed Me'


The senior quarterback who has led Tennessee into the Top 5 while vaulting into Heisman Trophy contention said this week his pregame prayers focus on family, health and gratitude.

Hendon Hooker has guided the Volunteers to an 8-0 start, including a high-profile 52-49 win over Alabama that broke a 15-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide. He is considered a favorite for the Heisman Trophy, college football's most prestigious individual award.

A video recently went viral on social media showing Hooker on one knee bowed in prayer moments before kickoff. On Monday, a reporter asked him about the prayer.

Hooker said the prayer focuses on his family's travels and the safety of his brother, Alston, a freshman quarterback for North Carolina A&T.

"It's the same prayer every time. I'm a routine type of guy," Hooker said. "Just praying over my family, thanking God for a safe travel. I pray for my brother as he had his game. … [I'm] praying for his game and their safety. Then just praying that God touches my mind, my hands, my feet, to just go out there and do what He's blessed me to do, to put on a show."

Hooker, a transfer from Virginia Tech who is in his second season as a Volunteer starter, has been outspoken about his Christian faith.

Last year he and Alston released a book, "The ABC's of Scripture for Athletes," that included their favorite memory verses. It was designed for children and published in the form of a comic book.

In September, he told media members that he listens to gospel music before each game from such artists as Kiki Sheard, Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond. He and teammate Joe Milton – the backup quarterback – also read a devotional together.

"[I] just listen to my gospel playlist, meditate," Hooker said. "Me and Joe, we have a devotional book that we read every day, so before the game, we'll read one or two pages. That's pretty much the pregame ritual."

His Twitter and Instagram bios read, "Giving Him all the glory." Earlier this year, he spoke about his faith at First Baptist Church in Morristown, Tenn.

A 6-foot-4 quarterback, Hooker owns the program records for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (20) and consecutive passes without an interception (261). He has 2,338 passing yards this year with 21 touchdown passes and one interception.

Related:

Hendon Hooker, QB for Top 10 Tennessee: Gospel Music and Prayer Are My Pre-Game Prep

Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker Wants to 'Spread the Word of Jesus Christ' Through His Platform

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Brett Carlsen/Stringer


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.