KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Head coaches and student athletes from all 14 Southeastern Conference programs have descended on Atlanta to answer questions from national media and look ahead to the impending 2022 college football season. Here’s what to know as Tennessee takes the stage on Thursday, July 21.
Josh Heupel in Year 2
Tennessee football head coach Josh Heupel will take the stage at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, marking his second SEC Media Day as the leader of the Volunteers. His first appearance largely consisted of questions on how he will implement his fast-paced offense and who would be under center at quarterback when the season began.
After Tennessee finished as the ninth-best scoring offense in the nation last year and Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker emerged as one of college football’s most prolific quarterbacks, the media focus may shift to how Heupel plans to build on his unexpected year one accomplishments and his success on the recruiting trail where Tennessee’s 2023 class is considered among the best in the nation.
Heupel’s was named the Football Writers Association of America’s co-winner of the Steve Spurrier First Year Coach Award after winning more regular season games than any new coach of a Power Five conference program. Tennessee retains 62 letterwinners and 15 starters from the 2021 team.
Tennessee student athletes to take the podium
Quarterback Hendon Hooker, defensive back Trevon Flowers and wide receiver Cedric Tillman will take the podium on Thursday following Heupel’s appearance.
Hendon Hooker (QB) 11:25-11:45 a.m. ET
The sixth-year senior took the reigns of Tennessee’s offense in 2021 and hasn’t looked back since. He set single-season school records in completion percentage (68.0) and passing efficiency (181.4) in route to becoming Tennessee’s first Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist since 2006. Expectations are high in his second season on Rocky Top as he’s already been named to preseason watchlists for the 2022 Davey O’Brien Award and the Maxwell Award. Hooker was also named to the preseason All-SEC Second Team.
Off the field, he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural leadership, education and communication. He is the author of his own book, “The ABCs of Scripture for Athletes.”
Cedric Tillman (WR) 11:25-11:45 a.m. ET
Tillman will enter the 2022 season looking to extend his school-record of seven consecutive games with a touchdown catch. His 12 touchdowns in 2021 are the second most by one Tennessee player in a single season. The redshirt senior is one of the top returning wide receivers in the SEC and a candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, which is awarded annually to college football’s best wide receiver.
The Las Vegas native was named to the preseason All-SEC First Team and the preseason All-American Third Team. Tillman was also named to the preseason Maxwell Award Watch List
Trevon Flowers (DB) 11:25-11:45 a.m. ET
The senior defensive back will return to his hometown of Atlanta for his SEC Media Days appearance. Flowers has been a starter at safety for the Volunteers for the last three seasons and ranked sixth among SEC defensive backs in tackles last year with a career best mark of 82. He has appeared in 35 games, including 25, and recorded 170 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups.
How to watch
SEC Media Days are televised live on SEC Network. While coach and player appearances aren’t streamed live online, SEC Network coverage could be streamed live through a free trial of DirecTV Stream or FuboTV.
The Volunteers are in the midst of summer workouts and will officially report for preseason camp on Sunday, July 31, before going through their first practice on Monday, August 1. The 126th season of Tennessee football kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 1 against Ball State at 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network.