Tennessee Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker is a fierce competitor on the field, but off the field, he’s a low-key person who has become close friends with a rival SEC quarterback.

Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Mike Wright revealed during an interview with 104.5 The Zone’s 3HL at SEC Media Days in Atlanta this week that he’s become close friends with Hooker.

Wright also described how both his parents went to Tennessee — though he refused to say the words “Tennessee” or “Vols”. Instead, he opted for “the orange school”.

“Both of my parents went to the orange school…we’ve been to a couple of orange games and it’s fun,” said Wright.

As for the friendship with Hooker?

That actually has a little to do with Vols legend Peyton Manning.

“I’ve grown real close to Hooker,” said Wright. “We’re going back and forth, sharing insight, sharing different information. We were both down there in Louisiana at the Manning Passing Academy. We were actually roommates. I don’t know if that was planned or a little gesture that Peyton hit us with.”

“Us as the players, we love rivalries,” added Wright. “But at the end of the day, we all have goals. And you know, his (Hooker) goal is to get to the next level. And my goal is reaching that next level. We built that relationship to help each other in any way we can. Even though he goes to the orange school and wears a different color than me, there’s always that level of appreciation. And it’s fun playing in Neyland. It’s fun.”

There’s nothing wrong with players becoming friends with opponents. Peyton and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, for example, played in the SEC around the same time and they remain good friends to this day. Playing in the SEC is a unique experience that very few people will ever get to experience. It’s no surprise that SEC rivals like Hooker and Wright have found common ground with each other.

Featured image via Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC