Four-Star QB Hendon Hooker Felt at Home at UNC

Hendon Hooker sees his potential fit in the Tar Heel program.

Hendon Hooker, a four-star quarterback from the 2017 class, returned to North Carolina on Saturday for his first football game in Kenan Stadium.

“It felt like home,” Hooker said. “I talked to Coach ‘Heck’ [Keith Heckendorf] a little bit. I’m going to call Coach [Larry] Fedora on Wednesday – we have a conference call me, him, and Coach Heck. But my family enjoyed it and I enjoyed it.”

Saying that Hooker, a 6-foot-3, 185-pounder from Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley, spoke to Heckendorf, UNC’s quarterbacks coach, just “a little bit” would be an understatement. The two met for 30 minutes prior to kickoff and then another half hour after UNC defeated North Carolina A&T, 53-14.

“Before the game, we just talked about my game the previous night,” Hooker said. “But after the game, he just asked me a few questions about the offense, how they looked, and how I liked the visit.”

Through those conversations, Hooker received a slight scholarship offer update.

“I feel like they’re edging closer and closer every time we talk,” Hooker said. “Hopefully, I’ll get the offer during the conference call [with Fedora].”

If not Wednesday, Hooker hopes to force the issue with his play in a couple weeks. Heckendorf – who has yet to offer an in-state quarterback within the 2017 class – plans to attend Dudley’s bout against football powerhouse Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond County on Sept. 25.

After four games, Hooker has completed 24-of-41 passes for 620 yards and six touchdowns with one interception. He has also rushed for 460 yards and five scores on 38 carries (12.1-yard average).

Hooker has collected scholarship offers from Army, Clemson, East Carolina, and Syracuse.

“It would be great for my recruiting process [to receive a UNC offer],” Hooker said. “And it would also change a lot on my decision.

“I feel like I could fit into that offense for sure. It’s something that fits me 100-percent. There’s not too much running [with their quarterbacks] – I liked that. They’re very conservative with their quarterbacks. Coach ‘Kap’ [Chris Kapilovic] keeps them protected for sure – the front five are always legit. And there’s great targets to throw to – it’s always good to be surrounded by great athletes.”

Much of that evaluation came from Saturday’s visit. Hooker also evaluated UNC off the field.

“It was just a great atmosphere [with] great fans,” Hooker said. “It was an atmosphere I’ve been accustomed to at my school – always packed, hearing chants. I really liked the atmosphere.”

Tentatively, Hooker plans to be back in town when UNC hosts rival Duke on Nov. 7.

During the opening weekend of the college football season, Hooker made his first visit to Clemson. The Tigers also beat up on an FCS opponent (Wofford).

“I feel major love from Clemson,” Hooker said. “I know they were showing a lot of love before, but just going down there and actually talking with Coach [Dabo] Swinney and just evaluating how things are with the recruiting process. It’s pretty amazing how they run things at Clemson and how family oriented they are.”

Hooker doesn’t have a leader, but says that Clemson is one of the top schools on his list.

This weekend, Hooker will attend Duke vs. Northwestern in Durham. His schedule also includes games at East Carolina (vs. Virginia Tech on Sept. 26), Clemson (vs. Notre Dame on Oct. 3), and Florida State (vs. Miami on Oct. 10). He’s working on scheduling game trips to Mississippi State and Miami.

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