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    How Old Is Hendon Hooker? Tennessee QB Among Oldest in 2023 NFL Draft

    How old is Tennessee quarterback prospect Hendon Hooker, and is he the oldest player eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft?

    Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker is widely viewed as the fifth-best quarterback prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, trailing Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis. Even accounting for his advanced age, Hooker could hypothetically sneak into the first round. Just how old is Hooker, and is he the oldest player in the draft?

    Hendon Hooker’s Age May Surprise

    Hooker was born on Jan. 13, 1998, meaning he is currently 25 years old. He will be one of the older prospects selected in the 2023 draft.

    Hooker was already 19 years old when he began his collegiate career at Virginia Tech. He redshirted during his freshman year with the Hokies, then used the NCAA’s COVID-19 rules to gain an extra year of eligibility in 2022. Hooker ultimately spent six years in the college ranks, which helps explain his age.

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    Hooker is older than Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert, who already have three NFL campaigns under their belt and will likely sign mega-extensions in the coming months. Age is always a driving factor for draft prospects, but it might be less important for quarterbacks, who often enjoy long careers in the NFL.

    Hooker’s College Career and Stats

    A four-star high school recruit, Hooker received numerous college offers before deciding on Virginia Tech. After redshirting his freshman season, Hooker played sparingly in 2018 before becoming the Hokies’ starter part-way through the 2019 campaign.

    Hooker helped Virginia Tech to a bowl game after throwing 13 touchdowns against just two interceptions, then returned in 2020 as the team’s starter. He completed 65.3% of his passes for 1,339 yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions in eight starts.

    In 2021, Hooker transferred to Tennessee, where he began working under first-year head coach Josh Heupel. Although he began the season as the Volunteers’ No. 2 quarterback, Hooker entered the starting lineup after Joe Milton suffered an injury in the second game of the season. He passed for nearly 3,000 yards, 31 scores, and only three interceptions en route to a bowl game appearance.

    Hooker’s final collegiate season marked his best performance yet. He led the NCAA in passing yards per attempt (9.5) while throwing 27 touchdowns and two picks. Hooker’s best game came against Alabama in October when he passed for 385 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-49 victory.

    Unfortunately, Hooker’s college career ended when he suffered a torn ACL against South Carolina in November. Nevertheless, he was still named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, earned first-team All-SEC honors, and finished fifth in Heisman voting.

    Who Is the Oldest Prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft?

    At age 25, Hooker is not the oldest prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. That honor is held by North Texas quarterback Austin Aune, who is already 29 years old and will be 30 by the time the 2023 NFL season gets underway.

    Aune originally committed to play for Tulane, but after the New York Yankees selected him in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft and offered him a $1 million signing bonus, Aune chose baseball over football. Aune spent six seasons playing shortstop and outfield in the Yankees’ minor league system but never advanced past High-A before being released in 2017.

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    Aune enrolled at North Texas in 2018 and became the team’s starting quarterback midway through the 2021 season. He ended his career with 7,324 yards, 56 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions. He originally declared for the draft after the 2022 campaign before entering the NCAA transfer portal. He changed his mind again in early 2023 and redeclared for the draft.

    Aune is not expected to be drafted, but he could land with an NFL team as an undrafted free agent. He is not listed on Pro Football Network’s consensus big board, which includes 15 quarterback prospects.

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