Tennessee Vols starting quarterback Hendon Hooker and five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava, a UT commit, will never play together on Rocky Top.

Hooker will be out of eligibility after the 2022 season and Iamaleava won’t arrive on campus until 2023.

But Hooker is still keeping an eye on Iamaleava. And the former Virginia Tech quarterback is clearly a big fan of the young five-star phenom.

Hooker posted a photo on his Instagram story over the weekend of himself wearing sunglasses while training — an obvious tribute to Iamaleava, who often wears sunglasses during his 7-on-7 tournaments. Hooker captioned the photo “On my @nico_iamaleava8 drip wit [sic] the shades๐Ÿ˜Ž”.

This shows exactly what kind of influence Iamaleava has on players. He’s still a high school student, but he has a magnetic personality that other players seem to love. That bodes well for the Vols’ recruiting efforts during the 2023 cycle. It’s also a good sign for the future of Tennessee football. Iamaleava appears to be a tremendous leader who is immensely talented. In other words, he’s a program changer.

Tennessee’s in great shape when it comes to quarterbacks right now. Hooker is already a star in the SEC, while backup quarterback Joe Milton has the most gifted arm in the SEC. And true freshman Tayven Jackson is an underrated former four-star recruit who could prove to be a quality starting SEC quarterback.

There are a lot of good vibes in Knoxville right now and that has a lot to do with the state of the quarterback position for the Vols.

Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK/