Previous school: Michigan Wolverines
Although Joe Milton III has less experience than Hendon Hooker playing quarterback in general, comes from an offense less similar to what Josh Heupel runs than Hooker and also didn’t participate in spring practice, he’s in a slightly better position to have an early impact for Tennessee football. This is based on many other factors.
Milton, who can be mobile when necessary and stands at 6’5″ 244 pounds with a cannon for an arm, has all the tools necessary to be an elite quarterback. He’s the one quarterback Heupel signed specifically, and Heupel recruited him while offensive coordinator of the Missouri Tigers.
Then there’s the fact that Heupel went out of his way to tout Milton during SEC Media Days, which we wrote about here. Playing for Michigan, Milton was the starter for the first time last year. He completed 80 of 141 passes (56.7 percent) for 1,077 yards (7.6 yards per attempt), 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. On the ground, he added 109 yards and a touchdown.
Obviously, those numbers could be better, and that combined with the issues we named in our first paragraph keep him from being higher. However, Milton has the benefit of being the one player we know Heupel wanted. That puts him above Hooker.