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Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker Signs NIL Endorsement Deal With French’s Mustard

It started as a meme, but now, celebrated UT quarterback Hendon Hooker is fully embracing Vol Nation’s love of French’s mustard with the yellowest of NIL endorsements.

On Oct. 17, 2021, the University of Tennessee‘s football team failed to convert a 4th & 24 in the last minute of a 31-26 home loss to Ole Miss, with fans vehemently disagreeing with the referees’ call and subsequent review that ruled the Vols short of the line to gain.

Fans at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville began throwing items on the field — and famously, one of the items was a bottle of French’s yellow mustard, of all things.

For some reason, French’s mustard itself became a running joke and even a rallying cry for Tennessee fans. When its baseball team was stomping Ole Miss the following March, there was a bottle of mustard tossed around to celebrate a big home run:

Vols Fans made mustard as part of their gameweek routines and even dressed up their infant children as mustard for Halloween:

(Doesn’t look like French’s from here, but we’ll allow it.)

As the 2022 football team rocketed up the college football rankings, French’s got in on the bit themselves. As of this writing, UT is No. 1 in the Playoff standings, so there’s clearly some real synergy between Big Orange and Big Yellow.

Now, ahead of the Vols’ annual SEC East showdown against the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs, French’s is making this strange bond official by signing Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker as its first-ever NIL athlete, the company announced Friday.

“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. “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.”

To celebrate his star-level play, French’s commissioned a pair of mustard-inspired sneakers that will keep Hendon Hooker looking stylish both on and off the field — including with the help of a special pair of Nike Air Force 1s:

As part of the partnership, the QB will share his love for French’s with fans through content across his social media accounts. As Tennessee visits Georgia Saturday in a battle of No. 1 against No. 3, we now know that bright yellow will be on everyone’s minds aside from the flags thrown by the referees.

Now, UT’s bond with French’s is truly official.

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