CBS Sports Piece on Hendon Hooker

Article: Hendon Hooker's perseverance leading revival of Tennessee football as family proudly watches on

Really Happy for HH, but reading this piece makes you sick as a VT fan:

Then there was the heart issue before the season. A procedure ultimately revealed there was nothing wrong, but Hooker and his father blame medication from the procedure staying in the quarterback's system creating an embarrassing episode three months later.

Hooker was shown shaking and almost convulsing on the sideline during a December game against Clemson. When asked about his player after the game, Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said his quarterback was "cold." The game time temperature was 37 degrees. Hooker said the medicine they'd used during the scope of his heart had "reactivated."

"You're sitting on the sidelines so long with no movement," Hooker recalled. "You're on the top of the mountain [at Virginia Tech]. There's no heat on the sidelines. You try to do some jumping jacks. All the sudden, my body just starts to shake.

"My teeth are chattering. I see my fingernails turning blue. What in the world? This is crazy! To come back in the next day [and see] my coach told the media I was just cold was hurtful. I didn't know what to say."

In that game, Hooker completed one pass, fumbled a snap and never play another down at Virginia Tech. The Hokies went with Braxton Burmeister to finish the season. It became clear there was no future for him there.

"I grew up in Blacksburg," Hooker said figuratively. "A lot of my friends from home came because I was there already. I tried to handle it professionally. ... I jumped in the [transfer] portal a couple of days later. I remember coming in to tell Coach Fuente about it. It brought tears to my eyes because I really enjoyed being there."

Sooo many questions here - how do we not have heaters on the sideline?! How do we let someone who WANTED to be here so badly go?

I guess this part made it a little bit better?

[Hooker's Father] Alan told CBS Sports his son ended up texting his old coach last year to wish him Merry Christmas.

"There are no hard feelings there. Coach Fuente responded back, 'Hey Hendon, you had a great year. I enjoyed watching you,'" Alan shared.

Anyways, I try to avoid shitting on Fuente since we've moved on, but seeing this... fuckin a man

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The medical/medicine aspect of this sure doesn't make Fu look good.

We put the K in Kwality

That's the one thing he has ZERO input or control over.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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He has control over telling the media HH "felt cold" instead of saying something like "there was a medical issue we're going to look into further. Hopefully nothing serious, but he wasn't a 'go'. We'll answer questions/give more clarity on it once we know more."

That's protecting his player and being genuine about the situation.

If he didn't know that much, even a "he was feeling ill, we're looking into it" was better than making it seem like HH wasn't tough enough or something.

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I'm not sure telling the media "it was a medical issue" would have been the right thing to say, either. It may well have been that he was just cold.

The point is that if you have a player who is in visible discomfort like that, someone should be on it immediately, doing something and showing some concern. Any player should get whatever attention is necessary for their physical state. Was pretty clear that with the resources VT has, there should have been a heater, a tent, or something.

I seem to remember it appearing on TV as if Hooker was roughing it on his own, in obvious severe discomfort, which seemed very unusual.

In the game thread everyone thought he was having a seizure

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I sure did. I think I even said so in the game thread that day.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

i don't know. i have never heard of medicine from 3 months ago reactivating. other than saying he was cold, what was fuente supposed to say, right after the game? i guess the only thing better to say would be he was not sure what was going on with hendon, and doctors were looking into it.

i am glad hendon is doing well, and it is good to hear he has no hard feelings towards fuente. i still think fuente is a good dude...just couldn't recruit. now, corn on the other hand, i bet hendon hasn't texted him since he entered the portal

"He was having an unusual reaction. I'm not sure what happened. Doctors are looking into it. It was concerning, given prior health issues Hendon had. Without knowing what was happening, and not wanting to jeopardize his health/safety, I chose to err on the side of caution and put a different QB in for the rest of the game."

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boom. you're hired!

Onward and upward

I've been on a bunch of cardiac meds this year for bouts of afib and an emergency open heart. I've had the strangest random nerve issues popping up at random times, like whack a mole. I totally believe HH's assumption, very plausible from my anecdotal experience. I've got an index finger that loses all circulation and goes numb if colder that 65 degrees while the rest of the hand is fine, as one example.

...with spirits true and faithful...

Even if you say that one moment and the quote afterwards aren't fully on Fuente, things have to already be pretty bad when that player doesn't play another snap for the team and ends up in the portal shortly thereafter. And that failure in the relationship is absolutely on the coach.

And when you're talking about a kid who is leading the Heisman race 24 months later... inexuseable.

This is my school
This is home

The more layers of the onion that was the previous coaching regime that get peeled away just exposes how utterly incompetent they were as a whole. We had a guy who will likely win the Heisman and we chased him off.

Unreal. I genuinely don't know how any other program will give that previous coaching staff a chance. So many bad decisions.

This is my school
This is home

Yea, there have been some other former players who talked about Fuente's handling of injuries on Don V's podcast. The accounts were very one-sided and questions were leading... BUT Fuente's handling of injuries sounds dated by 20+ years.

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A couple of things. What medication "reactivates" after 3 months? I'm NOT a doctor, but is that how the bloodstream works? I don't think so. But regardless. VT also always has heaters on the sidelines for cold games- as long as I can remember. Finally- Fu is not a big time coach. on any level. We all know that.

No I don't think that's how it works either, but I will say that was probably the first time he had been in extreme conditions since the procedure, so that definitely could have affected him differently.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Yea. Reactivation of medicine seems dubious (but not completely unheard of). It was more likely an activation of an immunological response that was further affected by the cold weather. Some allergen or immunogen--which may be related to a prior condition or not--likely triggered the shivering/paleness response.

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Definitely made the right decision to transfer. Our program was headed downward, he wouldn't have been on any sort of draft radar his last couple of years here, but now he's revitalized an SEC power.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Yeap... It just sucks. We'd be in a much better place if he was here.

That said, I'm rooting for him, even if it means rooting for Tennessee (woof).

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I couldn't be happier for Hendon. Hope he finishes the season as strong as he began it.

HTHokie93

I could be, had he been able to stay at VT.

Then again, he might have been successful enough to extend Fuente's tenure.

Tré Turner talked Hendon's situation in that game on Don V's podcast and it just made me sick to my stomach. The whole thing is a good listen because he gives a very measured response/perspective and doesn't seem to have a motive to just trash Fuente. There are somethings he talks about Fuente doing that are just baffling to me.

strangled gargles of rage

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Mhmm. I felt that.

I don't care for Tennessee. But I'll stop and watch their games just because of him. He's always a Hokie and I'll root for his success anywhere

Heisman for Hendon (even though it will hurt me deeply to witness)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Looking back at the depth chart for 2020 just makes you sick...
QB: Hooker (one of the Heisman favorites this year).
RB: Herbert & Blackshear (Herbert is an elite talent and tearing it up for the Bears; Blackshear also in the NFL).
TE: James Mitchell (great talent, 5th round pick).
WR: Turner & Robinson (both very talented receivers; Robinson having a good year at UK).
OT: Darrisaw (FIRST round pick, quickly becoming one of the best LTs in the NFL) and Tenuta (6th round draft pick) and Nester (tearing it up at WVU right now).
OG: Smith (6th round pick) and Hudson (At louisville now, future NFL draft pick).
C: Hoffman (high-level college player, believe he is on a practice squad somewhere).

That is an offensive roster 95% of college football would KILL for.... Just cannot believe the same staff that was able to scout/recruit/put that offense together fumbled the ball so hard in terms of execution. I know that was the COVID year and everything, but man it might be a loooooooong time until we see that kind of talent on a VT offense again. And we went 5-6..... welp.

That offense had its problems but they would've been better than 5-6 with a better defense.

Yeah good point... frustrating that happened to be one of the years the defense was so terrible (granted they were hit especially hard by covid iirc)

Yeah, don't forget that even though we had that roster, there were games that several of those guys were out. I know Herbert was out a couple, I think Blackshear was out a couple. I think one or both receivers were out. Can't remember anything about the line.

On D, I remember there were a couple games where we had to play a walk-on was it LB? He did well in one game but think he got obliterated against UNC. That was the year Farley opted out on D and I think our D, between inexperience and guys sitting out for COVID was gutted a lot.

Matheny started like 2 games.

Yeah extremely talented offense and a lot of the problems of the Fuente era were visible, but it's hard to get too upset over the COVID year. Everybody experienced it differently and the difficulty of practicing just makes it an "it is what it is" type of season.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Oh yeah, I forgot that teams couldn't practice until late and a lot of practices were even probably not great because so many players had to sit out so difficult to get all your guys on the same page (probably especially big for the lines).

If Hooker wins Heisman or becomes a star in the NFL, he'll tarnish Fuente's reputation in VT lore worse than Steph Curry tarnishing Seth Greenberg's reputation. So many parallels of "what could've been if ...."

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This was the first thing I thought of but I'm not sure there's a bigger blunder than telling the son of the best basketball player in VT history and future NBA MVP that he's gotta walk on because we have to make room for Nigel Munson.

Let's Go...

I think it's worse because he was on campus and the starting QB and he was essentially let go to be replaced by Burmeister. Greenberg's is bad, but no other major basketball program was taking him either. Here, Hendon was swallowed up immediately by Tennessee. Fuente (formerly known as a QB whisperer) was so blind to the amazing talent that he coached everyday in practice.

But, tbh, they will both live in Hokie lore infamy.

Side Note: Burmeister isn't doing too well at SDSU. He's still starting QB, but he's only at 50% completions for 263 yards, 3 INTs, 2 TDs in 5 games. He is their 3rd leading rusher at 185 yards.

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TBH, I seriously wonder if Fuente will ever coach again. With the Hendon Hooker debacle and how he clearly torpedoed this program, he probably has a pretty bad rep as program destroyer and manager of talent. Not good when your whole angle is supposed to be offensive guru/QB whisperer and you have proven to be not good at all at those things the last six years.

I am very curious to follow Fuente's coaching career (whatever may be left of it) as well. I think it would be interesting to see him get a gig as OC somewhere. Or perhaps a position coach. Maybe Saban will hire him to sweep the locker room or something. Idk. But there's two things I'm interested in. 1, If he does land a gig, does he bring Cornelsen or not? And 2, will he prove that he actually does know how to coach football or will he get exposed as a fraud?

I'm also curious to see where Corny's career goes. Will he ever coach at the college level again or will he just scam high school kids with his over priced qb camps for the rest of his days?

Onward and upward

Maybe Saban will hire him to sweep the locker room or something.

I actually LOLed. Leg

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Actually read this as the Aggies/Bama are 14-14.

'89 Hokie alum, former staff, former faculty. Living in Jawja - a rescue Dawg married to a Fauxkie. Navigating the curious spaces between the ACC and the SEC since 2009.

I really thought we had gotten past this. You don't give a scholarship to a kid not even Midmajors wanted over a top 100 kid in the nation.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Blue fingers for a person that has had a heart issue is a huge red flag, regardless of how cold it was outside.

He was obviously better than burmeister and I don't know Fuentes true reason for not playing him the rest of the season. But if I was definitely thinking about the kid first, I wouldn't have let him play until another full scale medical checkup was performed and even then I'd be worried about playing him again.

To be fair "the rest of the season" was just 1 game and from what I can remember BB played well against UVA.

Not an Anesthesiologist but I have more than a little knowledge regarding this.

#1 what they mean by "scope" of the heart is vague and unclear. My assumption would be they mean a transesophageal echocadiogram (TEE) for which one would generally have IV Sedation administered.

#2. There is no IV Anesthesia agent that I am aware of anywhere in the World that has the ability to "reactivate" and certainly NOT 3 months later. That is nonsense. Without knowing the specific agents involved, it is hard to be precise. There are a wide option of Pharmaceutical options available, but the most commonly used agents are similar to what many people get during a colonoscopy. By their nature, they are extremely short acting and out of your system within hours--they don't magically "reactivate" once they have been metabolized and eliminated from your system.

#3 even with all the above considered, the point is that Fuente treated the event in a callous manner, as it certainly appeared to potentially be a significant medical issue at the time. There also is no reasonable explanation that VT (particularly in their own stadium) didn't have heating devices available for the players if needed.

Amiodarone is used in afib and heart functions. It stays in the body updward of 3 months. Side effects could very well cause shaking, numbness, etc. especially in cold conditions. If he had a TEE to do a cardioversion, like JJ Watt just had, HH might have been on that med. for afib. Pure speculation on my part.

...with spirits true and faithful...

Yes, Amiodarone has an extremely long half-life but one would not generally use it in the process of performing a procedure.

If you were using Amiodarone, it would likely be as an alternative for rate-control rather than doing a TEE +/- Carioversion.

Heat/cold intolerance are also not common adverse events associated with Amiodarone.

Again, all is pure speculation without knowing specifics, but the "reactivation" quote makes no sense physiologically or pharmacologically.

Right, amiodarone is not for the procedure of a cardioversion but for treatment of afib before and afterward. The cardioversion rights the afib and the drug works to keep it righted. I've had two cardioversions and one course of the drug, so it seems plausible to me. The side effects were exasperated cold. Cold brought on the second afib and thus the second cardioversion. Again, pure speculation, my knowledge is limited and purely anecdotal. I agree we'll never know.

...with spirits true and faithful...

Anesthesia provider here, and agree with most of what was said above. No anesthetics would cause that. Could be whatever they prescribed him but if he wasn't taking it, seems strange that it would "reactivate" especially given he's young and healthy and exercising hard daily, his body should clear it faster than most.

Could be a weird side effect of long Covid since we really didn't know about that back at that point. Have a buddy that's healthy, 34, had Covid at the Michigan playoff game last November, two months later and up till now still has pins and needles and cold legs and arms down to his fingers randomly throughout the day that lasts for hours. Also said like vague dizziness, etc. Major neuro funkiness going on, was convinced he had a brain tumor until he saw four different people, had every scan possible and had all of that ruled. out. They said he's not the only one with bizarre neuro symptoms after Covid and they're seeing it all over.

HH also fumbled twice in that game...just to correct the article

Sean

I think the point was that he fumbled again after the "cold" issue. As in, if you're so cold you're shaking, not necessarily hard to imagine it's more difficult to hold onto a ball.

Fuck it, put up a Hendon for Heisman sign in front of Lane. Let him know we still love him, and we're rooting for him.

Even though he's playing for the neighbor's. I will never forget that 2019 Miami game. He showed that day he was Heisman material.

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BSME 2009

One more case proving Fu's incompetence. You go HH

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

As much as I would have wanted him to stay and be a Hokie, it pains me to say I don't think he would be in the Heisman chase here and it's probably better for his career that he wound up there. Especially given that we've heard that the plays were expected to go very specific ways and the QB didn't have much decision authority.

It would be interesting to see what the current staff could do with him though.

Let's not underestimate the impact of a very good offensive coaching system (Heupel) and weapons at WR. Hooker is a gifted athlete and solid NCAA QB, but the coaching/system and weapons he has at UT have put him on the map

I'm not taking anything away from Hendon....more so making the point that (regrettably) VT didn't have this to offer him.

Virginian by Birth, Hokie by Choice

Yea. If HH is still at VT, he doesn't sniff the Heisman chatter he's getting now. And that's because of Fuente, change in regime, and the bare roster, not HH's talent.

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True - Tennessee arguably has the best starting wide receivers in the nation. And one of them who has been injured is returning this week.

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Though if Tre and Tayvion had better coaching, and with the way Smith is playing, we'd have some pretty good recievers here too.

Bruh, Tennessee has 5 WRs with a rating >.9000. And the one who might be their best was a 3 star. Peak Tre would be second string on that team.

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Wow. Fuck Fuente.

"... I think he played his nuts off. And you can quote me on that shit."