"He was going to play a big role in this defense," said Coach Paul Tidwell. "We had a lot of injuries in the spring and he was getting a lot of work with the ones and doing a great job. He's very vocal and has a great leadership presence on the field, so we've missed that."
During one of the final scrimmages of the spring, Hooks went down with a patella tendon injury that was originally thought to have kept him out for the duration of the 2008 season. But through some diligent rehab, Hooks is slated to join the team and play against TCU, if not sooner.
"We're hoping to get him back this week or next week," said Tidwell. "Conservatively speaking, it will be against TCU. He did a lot of linebacker drills [Monday] and did well. We're just going to let him do a little bit more with every day of practice, and hopefully it works out and he can contribute to the team. I know he's anxious to do so."
Coming back from a patella tendon or any knee injury isn't an easy thing. Hooks is trying to regain his form, but will have to overcome some difficulties.
"It's the starting and stopping mainly," said Tidwell regarding what Hooks will have to work through. "It's the planting and changing of direction that he needs to work on most. When that knee bends forward it's still a little weak, so that's what we're working on most."
Tidwell acknowledged that Hooks brings more to the field than just his leadership qualities.
"Terrance has a real physical presence about him and he's really good against the run," said Tidwell about Hooks. "He's very good at going downhill and defending against the run with his presence, so we're excited to have that back."
Along with Hooks, outside linebacker Grant Nelson is also set to return from of his injury, which will boost the talent and overall depth of the outside linebackers.
"Coach Lamb is going through the same stuff with Grant, and he's probably a little further along than Terrance in regards to readiness at this point," said Tidwell about Nelson. "He's a guy who played a lot last year who can really work to help us on the outside."
Terrance Hooks talks about his injury, rehab and what he expects upon his return to the defensive lineup.