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The question on every Tennessee fan’s mind is, how can Josh Heupel replace quarterback Hendon Hooker. If you ask former wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, Joe Milton is about to take the ball and run with it.
During an interview with Jalin Hyatt on OutKick 360 on Radio Row at the SuperBowl, the former Tennessee wide receiver discussed his NFL Draft projections, along with the future of Vols football.
Who can forget the season that was for the Vols, finishing 11-2 with exciting wins over Alabama and Florida, led by quarterback Hendon Hooker? The question for Josh Heupel heading into 2023 is how you replace a leader like Hooker, who set multiple records in Knoxville.
But for Hyatt, he looks at the work Joe Milton has put in over the past two seasons behind Hendon Hooker as a reason for him being the guy in 2023.
“You know, Joe (Milton) can make every throw, I think we all know that. He’s a great leader as well. Just him being with Hooker (Hendon), obviously being there with Coach Halze (Joey) it’s gonna help him a lot. It’s obviously his team, he’s gonna takeover and I am very excited to see what he does.”
Jalin Hyatt Propelled Up Draft Boards In 2022 At Tennessee
For a player like Jalin Hyatt, the work put in during the 2022 off-season has now prompted him to project as a potential first round draft pick. We all remember the five touchdowns he scored against Alabama, along with the speed he showcased on the field. During a season in which fans thought that Cedric Tillman would be the leading receiver, it came down to a guy who made it his mission to succeed.
The work he put in this past summer translated into over 15,000 balls caught from different quarterbacks on the roster while working on his game. So when you ask Jalin if he’s a first round pick, the answer is a quick “yes.” But, if the Biletnikoff Award winning receiver wouldn’t have received a first round grade, he’d most likely be in Knoxville training for 2023 right now.
“Yes sir, for sure. If I got something that said ‘We think you can go third round or day two’, I would’ve come back, because I know I’m a first round guy,” Hyatt said about the NFL Draft. “I know I am, and what I have done on the field if I had come back. I know what I can do on the field and I’m obviously in a great position, but I know I still have work to do. At the same time, they don’t know the player they’re getting. I’m a hard worker, I stay in the building, I stay in the facility, I wanna get better every day. That’s just my goal, I’m purpose driven.”
Hyatt also mentioned on OutKick 360 that his goal for the 40-yard dash at the combine is a 4.29, which is certainly first round material.
Now, it’s time to see his hard work pay off. The next couple of months include the upcoming NFL Combine and visits with teams across the country. If he continues to show off his skills like he did in 2022, the sky is the limit for Hyatt.