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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Tennessee star Hendon Hooker signs perfect NIL deal

Hendon Hooker grinning

Sep 10, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) warms up on the sideline as the fourth quarter begins against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, college football players wind up signing the perfect NIL deal. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker has joined that club with his newest endorsement.

On Friday, the Tennessee quarterback revealed an endorsement deal with French’s mustard. As part of the deal, French’s even set him up with a custom pair of mustard-themed cleats.

“I’ve been a huge fan of French’s my whole life, so it’s a dream to work with such an iconic brand,” Hooker said in a statement, via Boardroom. “I love that French’s has become part of our games, and this will be a fun opportunity to keep building that relationship with the community — not to mention raising my sneaker game.”

For those not familiar with the amusing angle, it goes back to Tennessee’s game against Ole Miss last year. Volunteers fans were furious after the team was on the wrong end of two controversial calls late in the game and began throwing objects onto the field. While the bulk of the objects were water bottles, beer cans, and other things one would expect fans to have on them at a game, someone managed to find and toss a French’s mustard bottle onto the field. That was so bizarre that Tennessee fans have embraced it and turned mustard into something of a running joke.

Hooker and the Volunteers came in at No. 1 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings and travel to face fellow unbeaten Georgia on Saturday. If Tennessee wins, don’t be surprised to see mustard somehow become part of the celebrations.

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